MANILA The Task Force Balik-Loob will do its best to help New People's Army (NPA) surrenderers with their pending cases.
This was stressed by its chief, Defense Undersecretary Reynaldo Mapagu, when asked how the task force will help NPA rebels interested in surrendering, but with pending arrest warrants or cases.
"May nagbigay ng mga feelers, karamihan sa kanila yung may mga kaso, sabi nila may pending warrants sila, o (There are those who sent feelers. Many of them have cases. They said they have pending warrants or) pending cases. Sabi namin sa kanila (We told them), they just come down if (they) want. We will help them in coming down. Sabi ko nga (As I have said), even if they have pending warrants or pending cases," he added.
Mapagu disclosed that they can provide legal assistance to these rebels with the help of the Public Attorney's Office (PAO).
"We cannot promise them amnesty because it's only Congress that can issue an amnesty. Kung pardon naman (As for pardon), presidential (prerogative) yun (that is a presidential prerogative). So ang sabi nga namin (what we said), we can assist you in, legal needs, nandiyan yung PAO (Public Attorney's Office), he added.
Mapagu said they have already talked to Chief Public Attorney Persida Acosta about it and the latter is willing to help these surrenderers.
Earlier, Task Force Balik-Loob launched its "Balik-Loob, Balik-Pamilya: Paskong Kay Saya" Christmas campaign, a collection of video infomercial, radio mini-dramas, and messages for rebels.
Mapagu said the campaign aims to encourage remaining NPAs to surrender and avail of the benefits of the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and be with their families this Christmas.
E-CLIP is one of the flagship programs of the Duterte administration that seeks to address social healing and national unity towards the higher objective of having just and lasting peace.
It aims to provide social equity to former members of the communist movement and the Militia ng Bayan in order to reintegrate them into mainstream society. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency