AFP Welcomes Bill Seeking Integration of Former NPA Rebels

Manila Bulletin, April 8, 2008 | Go to article overview

AFP Welcomes Bill Seeking Integration of Former NPA Rebels


Byline: Rio Rose Ribaya

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday welcomed a bill filed in the House of Representatives that seeks to integrate to the military and the police services communist insurgents who had returned into the fold of the law.

Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro, AFP spokesman, said that the military supports and lauds Sorsogon Rep. Jose Solis when he filed House Bill No. 3545 in the Lower Chamber.

"The intent of the bill is good, which is to fasttrack peace," Bacarro said.

As vice chairman of the House committee on national defense, Solis said the bill aims to help attain lasting peace and achieve continuous economic growth and development for the country by putting an end to what is considered as the longest communist insurgency in Asia.

In his bill, Solis called for the integration into the AFP and the Philippine National Police of former New People's Army (NPA) rebels who had surrendered to the government, saying this may yet be the solution in the effort to end the country's decades- old problem on insurgency.

Bacarro, however, refused to express full backing of the bill, saying that there may be negative sides that could be amplified along with positive arguments when the proposal is raised in the plenary for debate.

"But, of course, there are arguments that would come out on floor deliberations. There maybe positive and negative sides and we will rather wait for it," Bacarro said.

"We do believe that this will be subject to debates and by that time, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and even the Philippine National Police will be invited to air our views that we can come up with," he added. …

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