MANILA -- Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana expressed support for President Rodrigo Duterte's decision not to use a purely military solution in ending the communist threat in the country.
"The DND fully supports the President’s decision not to employ a purely military solution to ending the communist insurgency in the country," Lorenzana said in a statement forwarded to reporters at 9:54 p.m. Friday.
This, he said, is emphasized by the national government's initiative to work closely with the local government units in pursuing localized peace talks, community support and development, and promotion of good governance, all aimed at neutralizing the insurgency threat.
This also includes the implementation of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Programs or E-CLIP, which helps former rebels start their lives anew by providing financial, livelihood, and educational assistance, psychosocial support, and housing, the defense chief added.
"While focused military actions will weaken their armed component, it is the promise of a better life for their families that drives their members to return to civil society and the fold of the law," Lorenzana added.
The DND chief also said that the government has the momentum, support and resources to render the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) strategically and politically irrelevant by 2022.
"By the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, the NPA will be reduced into a purely police problem of running after robbers, criminals, arsonists, and extortionists," he said.
Without the NPA as an armed component, which is listed as a terror organization by the United States and European Union, Lorenzana said the CPP will become just like any another political party, whose only chance of taking over the government is by winning an election.
"(This is) something that the Filipino people will never let happen because their (NPA) hands are stained with the blood of thousands of Filipinos they have sacrificed in the altar of a discredited and failed ideology. (CPP chief) Joma Sison and his cohorts abroad will just become footnotes in history, and will soon be forgotten," he said. (PNA)
Photo by Noel Celis/AFP/ABS-CBN News