THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is offering cash incentives and livelihood opportunities to members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) who will surrender and lay down their firearms.
This as Major General Rey Leonardo Guerrero, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID), confirmed on Wednesday that troops are readied for offensive strikes following the end of a unilateral month-long ceasefire declared by the government. The 3ID jurisdiction includes the NPA-infested Panay and Negros Islands.
He called on rebels to avail of the government offer under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP), which offers a rebel, who surrenders to the government with a firearm, P15,000 in financial support, P50,000 in livelihood assistance, and a remuneration for the surrendered firearm (ranging from P12,000 for the lowest caliber to P210,000 for the highest.)
Previously, the AFP’s Gun for Peace Program resulted in the mass surrender of NPA guerillas. In 2014, more than 300 rebels availed of it.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) claimed though that the AFP’s gun for peace program is nothing but a source of corruption among officials.
“These fake surrenderees are among the biggest sources of corruption in the AFP. Commanders pocket the reward money allocated for the firearms supposedly turned in. Most of the firearms are either the personal property of the so-called surrenderees or are recycled by the military from its rusted stockpile,” a CPP statement reads.
According to the CPP, the AFP’s claim of a mass surrender was a “hoax” in a desperate bid to cover up its losses in the field and the steady growth of the NPA.