US, Israel drone, helicopter helping fight vs NPA
President Rodrigo Duterte has said through drone and helicopter of the United States and Israel, the military could determine the location of the New People's Army (NPA).
In a speech in Masbate on Wednesday, Duterte said security officials want to attack the rebels, but he was just stopping them.
"There are many who have been helping us, Israel, USA. That's why you can see drone, helicopter. They (soldiers) want to attack you there in the mountains. I'm just stopping them. I said, "Don't do it'," he said.
He said as of now, the Armed Forces of the Philippines has not bombed any NPA camp.
"I'm controlling the waging of war, especially the use of bombs," he said.
Duterte said if the military would use bombs, civilians could be hit.
"If there are only no civilians, the problem could have been resolved a long time ago. I would just drop the bomb," he said.
Duterte said he just wants soldiers to convince the rebels to surrender.
"Just surrender. I will give you land, I will place the land first under land reform and I will build you houses," he said.
Duterte said the government would give livelihood programs for surrenderees and vocational training for them.
He said many NPA rebels have surrendered because they did not want to see their children to grow up without them.
Duterte expressed regrets for appointing left-leaning personalities in the Cabinet, such as former Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano and former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo.
"Mariano whom I appointed in DAR, I thought he could help. The envelopes for Pantawid (conditional cash transfer program) were there at the camps of the NPA. He gave (the fund to them). Taguiwalo, I got her because I thought we could help each other," he said.
The Commission on Appointments rejected the appointments of Mariano and Taguiwalo.
Duterte issued in November 2017 a proclamation terminating the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front due to the rebels' continued commission of atrocities and extortion activities. Celerina Monte/DMS