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Police want protection for rebel surrenderers.

By Aaron Recuenco

The Philippine National Police (PNP) wants to protect communist rebels who surrender to the government following reports that some of the rebels who took part in localized peace talks were being hunted down by their former comrades.

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said the initial arrangement is for close coordination between local military and police units in providing security for the former rebels and their families.

"It depends on the threat level. There are some cases wherein those who surrendered are being allowed to stay in military camps because of the threats," said Albayalde.

In October last year, former communist rebel Raymart Dagohoy was gunned down by a group of communist insurgents in a sugarcane plantation in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, where he started to work after his surrender.

Last April 12, Mangyan tribal leader Jose Barrera was abducted and then executed allegedly by his former comrades in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

Barrera used to be a team leader of the New People's Army (NPA) operating in Mindoro. He surrendered in August last year under the government's E-CLIP (Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program).

Albayalde admitted that running after their former comrades who surrendered to the government is part of the New People's Army's way of threatening their companions who want to surrender.

"It's a way of sending a message to their comrades who want to surrender. It's a way of threatening those who want to surrender," said Albayalde.

He said the government was doing everything to ensure not only the safety of the surrenderors but also their livelihood programs.

The Duterte administration has shifted to localized peace talks after the negotiations with the communist rebels through the National Democratic Front had bogged down anew.

The NPA has been waging five decades of armed struggle against the government.


Philippine National Police Chief Police General Oscar Albayalde (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU / MANILA BULLETIN)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Apr 21, 2019
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