FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. President Rodrigo Duterte handed out financial assistance to 262 former members of the New People’s Army during his visit in San Isidro, Leyte on Thursday(Jan.23). In his speech, the President asks NPA members to give up their fight to achieve a long-lasting peace in the Philippines. Among those who witnessed the event were(from the left) Secretaries Rolando Joselito Bautista of the DSWD; Eduardo Año of DILG;John Castriciones and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)

‘Revolution can’t solve PH problems,’ he says

SAN ISIDRO,Leyte- For Edna Luna, a resident of Barangay Daja-diot of this town, she was able to heard what she wanted to her from President Rodrigo Duterte: address the insurgency problem.
The 37-year old mother to three children, disclosed that just like in other remote barangays in the country, their village which is about 40 kms away from the town center, is not also free of presence of rebel members of the New People’s Army (NPAs).
“That’s what I would like to hear from him. There are also NPA members that frequents in our village of Daja-diot though not as frequent like in the past,” she said, watching the President making his 49 minutes speech in a wide screen set up outside at the town civic center.
Mr. Duterte, came to the venue center two hours late from his scheduled 4 pm arrival, led in the distribution of financial assistance to 262 rebel member returnees coming from this town and nearby town of Calubian.
In his speech, the President exhorted the former rebel members to totally extinguish their associations from the communist group and start a new chapter of their lives as ordinary and law-abiding citizens of the country.
He said that the country could have been a progressive nation had it not been drawn to armed conflict with the members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA.
“Our nation could have prospered a long time ago had it not been for you NPAs. If only you were working for the progress of our nation,” he said.
“What you want is change, but you want to achieve that through armed struggle. That is not right. Not everything you’re asking from the government would bring peace to our communities…you NPAs, we can’t solve the problem in the Philippines by revolution. It has to be evolution…we can’t solve problems with revolution. We will just end up killing each other,” Duterte said.
During his visit, Duterte lead in the giving of financial assistance to the former rebel members giving them assistance totaling close to more than P8.9 million representing their livelihood and immediate assistance.
He also directed Agrarian Reform Sec.John Castriciones to fast-track in the development in the distribution of lands to these returning rebels covering more than 2,200 hectares located in Barangay Daja-dako, this town.
Mr. Duterte, in several instances, have vowed to end the insurgency problem of the country before he steps down by 2022, raising a possible new peace talks with the CPP leaders.