MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is hoping that the next administration will continue the anti-insurgency program initiated by the Duterte government.
In a statement released on the occasion of the New People’s Army (NPA)’s founding anniversary today, Lorenzana said much has been achieved in the last six years.
“It is our hope that whoever comes next will continue what we have started and sustain our peace initiatives,” Lorenzana said. “The NPA’s founding anniversary is a reminder of the lives lost and the sufferings caused by the communist terrorists, particularly their armed wing, the NPA.”
Lorenzana said the NPA has been taking pride in committing lawless activities such as extortion, destruction of property and undermining the government.
He expressed hope for a more progressive and developed Philippines, now that many rebels have returned to the fold of the law.
Lorenzana said thousands have been given the chance to live a new life and become productive members of society through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
“They have given their firearms in exchange for tools of trade. I am encouraged by the success stories of our former rebels,” he said.
He admitted that there is more to be done to solve the insurgency problem before President Duterte’s term ends.