Mayor offers to make talks with communist rebels

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BAGUIO CITY  – Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong offered to make peace with the communist rebels in the Cordillera for the realization of the government’s overall aim of achieving lasting peace in the countryside.

The city chief executive made the pronouncement during the awarding of financial assistance under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) to Anne Margaret Tauli, a suspected civilian sympathizer and alleged finance officer of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) who came back to mainstream society, held Thursday at the City Hall Multipurpose Hall.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) chaired by mayor Magalong handed over to Ms. Tauli a check amounting to P50,000 as livelihood assistance and a separate check amounting to P15,000 for her immediate assistance as part of the ECLIP benefits provided to her for her gesture in peacefully returning to the folds of the law.

Magalong said he is willing to meet and talk with the communist rebels in any specified place and time purposely to make peace with them and achieve the overall objective of realizing lasting peace for progress and development.

The city chief executive claimed there will come a time that people will realize there is only one legitimate government to be recognized which is working for progress and peace of the country, thus, if individuals in the communist movement want to meet and talk with him on matters of peace, he will make himself available anytime.

According to him, peace is the foundation of progress in the country that is why the government embarked on an aggressive peace initiative with different armed groups, including the communist movement, to convince them to lay down their arms and actively participate in ongoing peace and development programs that will spur countryside growth for the benefit of the present and future generations of Filipinos.

The mayor stated that he will be open to visit the specified place identified by the members of the communist movement wanting to join the mainstream society so that there will be no turning for them because the government needs them in the realization of lasting peace in the country so that the desired progress will be achieved.

He commended the gesture of Tauli in peacefully returning to the folds of the law and embracing peace and clearing her name on the allegations against her.

With the example set by Ms. Tauli, he expressed confidence that more members of the communist movement will decide to give up their arms and peacefully join their relatives and friends to help in the progress of their respective communities.

He asserted that once in his life, he was also in the same boat with the members of the communist movement, although he was on the right while the communist rebels were on the left but circumstances and prevailing situations led him to eventually recognize the legitimate government. By Dexter A. See

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