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Duterte tells ex-rebels: Start anew, lead a productive life

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed on Thursday the decommissioning of firearms surrendered by former rebels who broke away from from the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

A total of 727 members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade – Tabara-Paduano Group or Kapatiran were decommissioned and more than 300 firearms were turned-over to Camp Gen. Macario B. Peralta Jr. in Jamindan town, Capiz province, the headquarters of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

In his speech, Duterte said the ceremonial decommissioning of guns and combatants was another step closer towards the building of a peaceful and prosperous nation.

The rebel returnees were encouraged to “take advantage of this opportunity to start anew and lead a productive life with your families and loved ones. Be assured of the government’s full support for your reintegration to the mainstream society.”

The Chief Executive also promised to provide livelihood programs for them.

“I am pleased to note that this peace-building program has also a social and economic reintegration component through which the government will provide support to enable returnees to become productive members of the society,” he added.

The Kapatiran members, which came from Aklan, Antique, Bukidnon, Capiz, Iloilo, and Negros, will undergo training on nationalism, camp defense, disaster response, and rescue operations.

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