Guv continues call for rebels to lay down arms

Photo Courtesy of ABS-CBN News

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said his administration will continue to call on the rebels to lay down their arms despite rejection by the New People’s Army (NPA) of localized peace talks.

In a statement, the NPA Apolinario Gatmaitan Command rejected anew the “localized peace engagement” being pushed by the new leadership of the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade, which is also supported by the governor.

“It doesn’t mean that if they reject local peace talks, we will do nothing,” Lacson pointed out.

Ka Maoce Legislador, spokesperson of the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command, said they will never engage in what he described as a “phony undertaking.”

Legislador further said NPA units in Negros Island have been ordered to mount tactical offensives against government forces.

On the other hand, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander Col. Michael Samson said that they will have no recourse but to apply the military might against the armed NPA rebels if they continue to pursue the armed struggle and terrorize people and communities.

Lacson further said that the effort to convince rebel remnants to surrender through the Task Force ELCAC (Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict) will continue.