MANILA Instead of pursuing an armed struggle, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana urged all remaining New People's Army (NPA) fighters to lay down their arms and help the government build a better Philippines.
This was the response of the DND chief when sought for a comment on the upcoming 49th anniversary of the rebel group on March 29.
Lorenzana also said surrender is the only sensible option for these NPAs as the cause they are fighting for has become irrelevant.
"Your cause has become irrelevant. Do not be the spoilers of peace, progress and development. If you could not win (in the last) 49 years what made you think you could salvage victory in the next 50?," Lorenzana said.
"Come down, you owe your families and children a life of peace and stability. Let us join hands to build a better Philippines," the DND chief added.
Earlier, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bienvenido Datuin said the military is now intensifying efforts to thwart possible attacks and atrocities that might be committed by the rebel group against peaceful and vulnerable communities.
"The AFP is intensifying efforts to thwart possible attacks and atrocities by the NPA in line with their upcoming anniversary on March 29, 2018. The occasion is usually marked by their attacks against our people and vulnerable communities," he stressed.
Hostilities include raids, ambuscades, and sabotage against government troops, on public establishments and vital installations that severely affected innocent civilians.
Source: Philippine News Agency