President Rodrigo Duterte urged members of the New People’s Army anew to surrender their arms and work with government in solving insurgency problems in the country. He added that the rebels may even join politics if they will follow his advice.
Duterte made the statement at the launching of the Gaisano Grand Citygate Mall in Davao City last Friday, October 19.
“Buhii lang nang imong armas, wala tay problema. Magpolitika mo okay lang. Drop the firearms, drop the gun, wala na tay problema. Amigo tang tanan ug igsuon tang Pilipino,” Duterte said.
(Lay down your arms and we will not have a problem. If you wish to join politics, okay lang. Drop the firearms, drop the gun, and we will not have a problem. We will not only be friends, but Filipino brothers and sisters as well.)
He underscored the futility of the NPA’s decades-long rebellion and vowed to help rebel returnees start a new life.
Kanang inyong kalihukan, wala na gyud na. Pero andam ko mudawat ninyo, musurrender (surrender) lang mo, dad-a inyong armas, ihatag kanako, tagaan ta mo og lugar ug balay ug trabaho. Sigurado mo ana. Matagaan ta mo. Mag-training mo sa TESDA, paeskwelahon ta mo, pero bayran ta mo sa inyong pagtuon og skills.
(TRANSLATION: Your underground movement will not amount to anything. But I am ready to accept you if you surrender. Bring your firearms, give it to me, and I will give you a house and a job. You can be sure of that. I will be able to give you that. You will undergo training in TESDA, I’ll send you to school, but I will pay you to study and learn new skills.)
Duterte admitted that the rebel forces were among those who helped him win the presidency. He thanked the people of Davao and members of the Communist party for their support during his campaign.
“Dili nako maabot ang akong naabtan ron kung wala ko tabangi sa taong-Dabaw apil na ang NPA. Nagpasalamat ko ana. Tutal gitabangan man ko ninyo, tabangi ko nga makatugkad nako og unsaong paagi nga kitang tanan unta mabuhi nga di pud muingo’g dato pero nay,” he said.
(TRANSLATION: I will not be where I am today without the help of the people of Davao and the NPA. I’m thankful for that. And because you helped me, I am asking you to also help me find a way for all of us to live. Not necessarily rich but…) — Rosalie Coz