Time to surrender, AFP tells wavering Reds

By Priam Nepomuceno

January 25, 2019, 1:53 pm

MANILA -- With the government's localized peace talks and Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) going full blast, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said now is the proper time for dissatisfied New People's Army (NPA) communist rebels to surrender.

This, according to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato, when sought for comment Friday to reports that many rebel fighters are interested in surrendering but are afraid to do so due to threats from their erstwhile comrades.

"Our advice is for them to get out and surrender while they can and avail of the government's E-CLIP. They will be accorded the relocation and security for their safety. It's the best time to change the course of their lives. Abandon the armed struggle and take charge of your future," Detoyato said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

He added that the NPAs are known to deal harshly with those thinking to surrender to government forces.

"They are always being guarded and watched. They are also threatened. This was the same scenario when they conducted 'Oplan Ahos', which resulted in countless deaths, which was done to get rid of those who were suspected to be spies," he added.

"Oplan Ahos" was implememted from 1985 to 1986 and resulted in the death of an estimated 600 rebels in Mindanao.

The E-CLIP is the flagship program of the Duterte administration that seeks to effect social healing and national unity through a whole-of-nation approach towards the higher objective of having just and lasting peace.

It provides social equity to former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines – NPA – National Democratic Front and the Militia ng Bayan by devising a different mode of providing benefits and services to the former rebels (FRs), to reintegrate them into mainstream society.

These benefits do not serve as an end, but rather a means to aid the FRs in securing a foothold in restarting their lives.

The NPA, the Communist Party of the Philippines' (CPP) armed wing, is listed as a terrorist organization in the United States and the European Union. (PNA)