Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Monday, January 16, that the rejection by the New People’s Army (NPA) of the call for local peace talks will not deter the government from continuing to entice its members to surrender.
“We will continue to encourage their followers to come down, surrender their arms, and benefit from the programs of government,” he said.
He cited the Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict, the multi-agency body created to assist former rebels.
“It does not mean just because they rejected the local peace talks we will do nothing, we will continue to entice their followers to join the government,” Lacson said.
The NPA in Negros, in a statement last week, said the call for local peace talks by Col. Michael Samson, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, is a murderous psychological warfare that is a failed attempt at deodorizing the Army’s brutal counterrevolutionary war.
All guerrilla fronts under the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command of the NPA Negros have time and again firmly rejected and opposed “local peace talks” and will never engage in such a phony undertaking, it added.
All NPA units in Negros are commanded to mount tactical offensives against government forces, it said.*