GAMU, Isabela: The new chief of the Philippine Army’s Fifth Infantry Division (5ID) warned members of the New People’s Army (NPA) that they face a bloody year if they do not surrender to government forces.
Brig. Gen. Perfecto Rimando Jr., newly-installed commanding general of the Army’s 5ID based in Camp Melchor F. Dela Cruz here, said: “It is best that they come out in the open, surrender and benefit from the programs and projects the government has offered them and their families.”
He said the 5ID will double its offensives against the atrocities and intensified attacks staged by the NPA rebels and any element that is trying to overthrow the government and causing disturbances in peaceful communities in the Cordillera and Cagayan Valley regions.
He also warned the NPA rebels to stop sabotaging government projects and properties particularly those in far-flung areas that hampers development and improvement of the lives of the residents.
President Rodrigo Duterte has tagged the NPA a terrorist group saying he was fed up with its recent actions, including the alleged killing of an infant.
According to Rimando, the NPA rebels would better to embrace government programs and be of help in solving once and for all the problem of insurgency in the country.
Formerly assigned as deputy commanding general of the Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City, the new 5ID chief replaced Lt. Gen. Paul Atal, now the commanding general of the Central Command in the Visayas.
Under the AFP’s Northern Luzon Command, the 5ID or Star Division, is the Army’s primary infantry unit in Northern Luzon specializing in counter-insurgency with controlled infantry battalions in the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Kalinga, Apayao, Ifugao, Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino and northern part of Nueva Vizcaya.