News Release

President Duterte to NPA: Don’t occupy gov’t, private properties

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech after leading the ceremonial distribution of the Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) to the Region 10 beneficiaries held at the USTP Gymnasium, Claro M. Recto Avenue in Cagayan de Oro City on October 31, 2018. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech after leading the ceremonial distribution of the Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) to the Region 10 beneficiaries held at the USTP Gymnasium, Claro M. Recto Avenue in Cagayan de Oro City on October 31, 2018. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday, October 31, reminded the New People’s Army (NPA) not to occupy government and private properties forcibly.

The President expressed this as he led the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) to farmers in Northern Mindanao.

“Do not confiscate or seize or occupy the lands that are already owned. Don’t do that. Don’t steal lands that already have tenants,” he warned.

President Duterte said he would give the lands to the rightful beneficiaries in due time, adding there was no need for forcible occupation of such properties. “Just wait because I can’t speed things up,” he said.

The Chief Executive also asked Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones to make the vacant lands available and ready for land reform.

“Let’s talk. I’ll give you land. What will I do with those anyway? It’s not mine. I told Secretary [Castriciones] to distribute government-owned lands tomorrow…the lands that weren’t included as reservation for schools,” he said.

He also ordered the military and police to arrest the communist groups and their allied groups and bring them to the police station if they resist the arrest orders violently.

Meanwhile, the President handed over a total of 2,331 CLOAs, covering at least 5,808.0712 hectares of agricultural lands, and distributed to more than 3,000 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in Northern Mindanao.

President Duterte to campaign for competent, honest candidates for 2019 midterm elections

In the same speech, President Duterte laid down the characteristics he was looking for in senatorial candidates to endorse in the May 2019 midterm elections.

“I only have one requirement: competence.. and if you have the capability and if you are honest. That’s my only requirement. That’s a standard for all of them to follow. Huwag kayong magkamali lalo na sa corruption,” he said.

The President reiterated that he would only recommend candidates and let the voters decide.

Despite saying that he would openly support his chosen candidates, the President reminded the military, police, and his Cabinet members not to campaign for anyone as they may use government funds to do it.

“Just let me be because I am President. I’m just one person after all,” he said.

“Kung hindi niyo tatanggapin, bahala kayo,” he added.

The President said last month that he was committed to attaining a clean and honest 2019 midterm elections. ### PND