HINABANGAN, Samar- While he is offering peace to the communist group, Col. Alex Luna, commanding officer of the 801st Infantry Brigade, based this town, said that he is committed to ‘finish off’ the outlawed group that has been tormenting the public for half a century now.
Luna, whose areas cover the provinces of Samar and Eastern Samar which are among the hotbeds of the communist insurgency in the region, said that he is offering peace to the members of the New People’s Army and for them to avail programs of the government as they return to the folds of the law.
He added that they are doing some peace-making activities that would eventually encourage the NPA members to abandon their armed fight against government forces.
“Our main job here is to hold peace in some precarious areas and humanitarian services. However, if we see any armed activity in some areas, we will surely act to stop it. But if we do not see anything, we can’t act against it,” Luna said.
“Our effort to dismantle local rebels must continue,” he added.
According to Luna, a big part of their peacekeeping effort involves gaining the trust and respect of the villagers.
Colonel Luna calls on rebels to be partners for real change for the betterment of the country and the lives of people.
Meantime, as peace talks bogged down, Luna said that he is open to the idea of having localized peace talks.
He assured those who will lay down their arms will be provided of their needs to help them return to the mainstream society.
“Marami na ang ayaw mag-NPA.A lot of them wanted to go back to mainstream society at maging normal buhay nila, sila ang gusto kung tulungan,” Luna said.
The Department of Interior and Local Government is providing assistance to former rebels under its Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).
CLIP is a national reintegration program for local rebels aimed for a permanent and peaceful closure of the armed conflict.
An immediate assistance amounting to P15,000 is given to former rebels for mobilization expenses while their enrolment to the program is being processed.
Aside from that, a livelihood assistance in the amount of P50,000 is also given to them.