06 August 2016

PRRD promises land, livelihood to Capiz rebel returnees
JAMINDAN, Capiz — President Rodrigo R. Duterte vowed Friday to give state-owned land and livelihood to 17 rebel returnees during his visit here so they could start a new life under the fold of the law.

The President met the former rebels during his visit to Camp Macario Peralta Jr. The rebel returnees, who were members of an indigenous group, were from the remote town of Tapas.

Aside from land, the President promised to give them seedlings, fertilizers and farm implements so they could start a new life.

According to Nilo Prieto, a former rebel and member of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ executive regional party committee, the President said that the communists and the government can’t fight indefinitely and must find a way to attain peace.

The initiative to entice the rebels to surrender is part of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program aimed at building confidence with those who want to turn themselves in.

It is a joint effort of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, the local government units, and other stakeholders.

The former rebels, five women and 12 men who surrendered starting 2011, are treated well to show that the government is sincere in convincing insurgents to return to mainstream society, Prieto said.

Aside from meeting the soldiers and the former rebels, the President also had a photo opportunity with them as well as with camp employees.

The President was accompanied by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Ricardo Visaya, Major General Harold Cabreros, the chief of the 3rd Infantry Division.

Capiz mayors welcomed the president as he arrived at the camp. (PND)

Duterte: No let up until the drug apparatus is destroyed
In the war against illegal drugs, President Rodrigo R. Duterte reiterated his stand that the government will not stop until the apparatus of the drug syndicates has been destroyed and the market for illegal drugs is eliminated.

“That is my sacred obligation to the people. I will be naming the mayors and one congressman maybe and the police who are involved.” Duterte said. The list is long and the President said he could not memorize all the names because there are a lot.

The President himself is alarmed by the scope of the drug crisis. It was not until he assumed office that the depth of the drug problem was fully revealed.

Since the campaign against illegal drugs started, there have been 500,000 drug addicts and drug pushers who have surrendered to the authorities around the nation.

The death toll has risen to 400 including a big time Chinese drug lord. Several active and retired police generals, a businessman, plus several local government officials have been identified as having alleged ties to illegal drug syndicates.

In the intensified campaign, President Duterte has already ordered the military to assist the law enforcement in anti-illegal drug operations.

Mandatory drug testing for both the military and police have been conducted to ensure the integrity of the men the government counts on to fight the drug war.

Duterte threw his full support to the men in uniform. “For so long as it is done in the performance of the duty by the soldier or the police, akin yan (that is mine). That is my personal and official guarantee. I will answer for the deed. Order ko yan.” (That is my order.) (PND)