DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana yesterday said the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) is delusional, living in a dream thinking that they could win and establish a communist government in the Philippines.
Lorenzana said while the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) never stated that it can end the miserable existence of the CPP-NPA within the year, the AFP is confident that they can degrade the CPP-NPA’s capability to conduct large-scale depredation and extortion this year.
He said the AFP belief is based on a forward assessment backed by careful study, evidence-based evaluation and massive support from the local government units and communities.
“Halos araw-araw ay nababalitaan natin ang pagbabalik-loob sa pamahalaan ng kanilang mga miyembro mula sa iba’t ibang lalawigan at kabayanan dahil hindi na masikmura ng mga ito ang kabulukan ng kanilang sistema, at dahil na rin sa pagnanais nila ng kapayapaan at makabuluhang pagbabago,” Lorenzana said.
The DND secretary said that the massive support of AFP from the communities has compelled the communist terrorists to double their deceptive recruitment efforts, using social issues and twisting facts to gain support, targeting the vulnerable sectors of society to include students, women, children, urban poor and cultural minorities.
“Pero hindi na nila malilinlang kailanman ang taumbayan dahil lantad na ang kanilang totoong motibo at layunin. Hindi na nila maitatago ang ginagawa nilang pangingikil, paninira ng mga ari-arian at kabuhayan, pamimilit, pananakit at pagpatay, maging ng mga inosenteng sibilyan,” he said.
Lorenzana added that the empty talk of the CPP-NPA will not diminish the government’s resolve to finally put a stop to the communist-terrorists’ decades-long exploitation of indigenous peoples and rural communities.
“For far too long, they have impeded progress, denying the Philippines a chance to fully develop and depriving the Filipino people the opportunity to improve their quality of life,” he said.
As the DND and AFP are set to conduct more intensified activities and focused operations against the CPP-NPA, the government’s arms remain widely open to those who wish to return to the fold of law.
He said the administration is revitalizing the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) which offers livelihood assistance, immediate cash assistance and firearms remuneration to rebel returnees.
“In addition, it offers a reintegration package that includes livelihood and capacity development trainings, all aimed at providing rebel returnees and their families social equity and a fair chance to be productive members of the society,” he said.