AFP urges other local gov’t units to “duplicate” Negros campaign vs NPA
The Armed Forces of the Philippines urged on Friday other local government units to duplicate the campaign of Negros Occidental which is offering incentives to civilians who could provide information to neutralize communist New People's Army.
In the "Mindanao Hour" briefing in Malacanang, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, clarified that giving incentives was not the policy of the military but of Negros Occidental.
However, the military welcomes such initiative.
"The recent news about having an incentive for reports and information provided by civilians and other partners who will lead to the neutralization or the arrest of any member of the NPAs, particularly in the island of Negros, which was alluded to him ( Major General Jon Aying, commander of 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army), is not a policy of the Armed Forces nor of government but an initiative on the part of the local government, which was started and reported to by the 3rd Infantry Division General Jon Aying recently in his meetings with the local government," he said.
"We do welcome this initiative on the part of the local government, particularly in Negros. Because we know that they are already fed up with the abuses that are being committed and the violent activities that are being done by this armed group, which has degenerated into a bandit group, primarily concentrating on extortion and arson."
He expressed hope that other LGUs would do the same.
"So we hope that this local government initiative would be duplicated by other local governments in other areas who face similar problems to provide the motivation and the support to all our hapless citizens in affected areas who may want to share," Padilla said.
Negros Occidental set up P100,000 reward money for anyone who could provide information leading to the arrest or neutralization of the members of NPA members, Maute Terror Group and other armed groups, news reports said.
Padilla assured that the campaign against the rebels would not be money-making rackets of the bounty hunters amid warning of a lawmaker.
"Payments are not given unless the information provided was proven to have been accurate and it led to the arrest or neutralization of a known suspect. So if these people have arrest orders that have been issued already to them and have been identified and seen somewhere and were reported and led to their arrest, then the bounty will be provided," he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has terminated the formal peace talks with the Maoist group due to continuous attacks by the rebels to government troopers despite the negotiation. Celerina Monte/DMS