3ID chief encourages more rebel returnees
Roxas City (17 June) -- Commanding General Vicente Porto of the Philippine Army's (PA) 3rd Infantry Division based at Camp Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz is encouraging rebels to go back to the folds of law and live a normal life.
This was conveyed by the army official during the recent Social Integration Program (SIP) awarding rites for the 42 rebel returnees at the Capiz Provincial Capitol Building here.
Porto joined Capiz Gov. Victor A. Tanco, Presidential Assistant for Western Visayas Raul N. Banias, and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) repsentatives, among others, in the distribution of P1.56 million worth of cash and capital goods.
The government's SIP which provides a set of interventions to facilitate their integration into the mainstream of society has been helping President Gloria Arroyo administration's pursuit for lasting peace in the country.
The President has also called on the people to help the government's campaign to end the insurgency problem by 2010.
"The fight to eradicate insurgency is everyone´s fight. We all have a duty to perform and a challenge that must be met," the President said.
While the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has made a remarkable progress in dismantling the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army and the National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF), more efforts are needed to put an end to the 40-year-old communist insurgency in the country, she said.
"We have a lot of success in our fight against insurgency. However, more need to be done if we are going to remove this challenge which has plagued the government for many years," the President said during a Samar regional media interview.
Military data showed that the number of communist rebels has dropped significantly from 7,170 in 2006 to 4,874 in 2009.
The military also said that of the 100 communist guerilla front organizations in 2006, only 75 remain active today.
Likewise, the number of arms in the hands of communist insurgents has likewise dwindled from 6,060 in 2006 to 5,143 as of May 2009.
The number of barangays affected by the communist rebellion has been reduced from 2,121 in 2006 to 1,378 in May 2009, the President added. (PIA) [top]