DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, December 21, promised to protect rebels who will surrender to the government.
President Duterte gave his assurance as he graced the Paghiusa Para sa Kalinaw (Pagkakaisa para sa Kapayapaan), at the Eastern Mindanao Command here, where he met more than 200 rebel returnees.
“It’s my obligation to give you protection just how I am defending my soldiers,” President Duterte said in the vernacular.
Duterte also offered jobs to the rebel returnees, saying that they can enter the Armed Forces if they want. He also assured them of financial and housing assistance.
The initiative to entice the rebels to surrender is part of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) 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 (OPAPP), the local government units, and other stakeholders.
Meanwhile, President Duterte clarified that the ceasefire is not only for the NPAs, saying that it is a ceasefire for everyone and it is up for the Reds to join.
“Niingon ko mag-ceasefire ko para sa tanan. Og muapil ang NPA, bahala mo diha. Daghan man ta’g kontra. Naay maute, naay terorrista, naa pa gyuy durugista. Oh, ceasefire una siya. Di ta mo ihawon. Pero balik mo sa inyong pamilya,” he said.
(TRANSLATION: I said I will declare ceasefire for all; it’s up to the NPAs to join; we have many enemies — we have Maute and other terrorists, we also have drug addicts; we’ll have ceasefire for now for you to return to your families. ### (PND)