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PIA Press Release

Returnees need to unlearn beliefs, says Army

by JMD Abangan

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte (14 September) -- Rebel returnees need "re-indoctrination" to shed off twisted beliefs, Brigadier General Carlos Holganza, commanding general of the 1001sty Infantry Brigade said.

Guesting in Kapihan sa Kapitolyo, Holganza admitted that there were plans of giving rebel returnees granted with amnesty, their temporary shelter within the vicinity of military headquarters.

"That's for their own security and (for us) to re-indoctrinate them," he said.

In his talked with returnees, Holganza noted that some of the communist rebels "have a lot of good hearts" but were only made to believe that the government has done nothing good for ordinary people.

But with the new amnesty initiative of the national government, rebel returnees would be made to unlearn those things that leftist leaders have made them to believe especially about the state of communist governments and how they are faring with today's economy.

Holganza was talking about the new Presidential Proclamation No. 1377 which grants amnesty to members of the Communist Party-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and other communist groups.

The proclamation awaits concurrence of Congress and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) before it can be implemented.

In an interview after emerging from a closed door meeting with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo last Monday with other local government officials, Governor Rodolfo P. del Rosario of Davao del Norte bared plans to be pursued in implementing the new amnesty program of the government.

Aside from telling that rebel returnees will temporarily be placed within local military headquarters, he also said the each returnee granted with amnesty will be given P100,000 to cover payments for firearms returned to the government. The fund will also be used as start up capital for their livelihood.

Ask to confirm about the money grant, Holganza said "that's part of the plan that is being seriously considered."

In an SMS report, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is said to be announcing an initial allocation of P500 million for the processing of amnesty application and as seed capital for livelihood projects of communist rebels.

Meanwhile both Holganza and del Rosario expressed their full support to the new amnesty initiative of the national government saying it's a step taken to bring the trust of the people back to the government through the collaboration of local government executives, the military and the national government. (PIA XI) [top]

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