By GENALYN KABILING, with a report from Philippine News Agency
DINGLE, Iloilo – President Duterte has offered a P50,000 reward to anyone who can eliminate a New People’s Army (NPA) squad leader or any official of the terrorist group.
“Ako, ‘pag nakapatay ka ng NPA, isa, bayaran kita 25,000…Kung squad leader mapatay ninyo, singkwenta mil,” Duterte said during his visit for the “Pagpupugay sa mga Bayani” (Salute to the Heroes) at the Camp General Adriano Hernandez here on Thursday.
The “tax collectors” and field medics of the local communist group will also not be spared from the kill bounty offered by the government.
“The tax collectors, the women, medic personnel, you’re also included. Don’t argue about the weapons. You’re the ones collecting anyway,” Duterte added.
The Chief Executive made the “counter-offer” in response to the threat of Jose Ma. Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NPA can kill one soldier or police daily.
Sison made the threat early this month to pressure the Philippine government to resume the peace talks with the terrorist group.
Instead of facing death, Duterte urged communist rebels to surrender to the government and promised to extend assistance to help them return to society.
He noted that the second batch of rebel returnees he met in Malacañang would even be given free vacation trips to Hong Kong.
“You know I’m addressing myself again to all of you NPAs. You will never even capture a barangay. Stop your dreams.
Just surrender, I will pay you,” he said.
Apart from joining the military, he said former rebels could also enrol in skills training program and earn a livelihood. “Enroll at TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority). Learn the skills today because we don’t have enough workers,” he said.