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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Be warriors and peacemakers, Marcos tells gov’t troops

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President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. told the country’s troops to lead as “peacemakers” as he outlined a new approach to internal conflict during his visit to the Philippine Army’s headquarters in Agusan del Sur on Friday.

The Chief Executive emphasized the dual role soldiers must play: fighting those who threaten peace and democracy while simultaneously acting as peacemakers.

“Our approach to our internal conflicts here in the Philippines is different, and we’re asking our soldiers to be real war fighters. We still need that courage, bravery, and sacrifice that you have shown,” the President told members of the 401st Infantry Division.

“There is an added dimension to your job. Your mission isn’t just about war, but you also have to be peacemakers and remember that in some way, the people we are facing are Filipinos, too,” Mr. Marcos added in mix of English and Tagalog.

President Marcos urged the military to not only combat lawless elements, but also support government programs offering livelihood, land, and shelter to rebels seeking to reintegrate into society.

This aligns with his signing of amnesty proclamations and an executive order revamping the National Amnesty Commission in November 2023.

Recognizing the military’s progress in the region, President Marcos commended their efforts, highlighting the neutralization of hundreds of rebels and the surrender of thousands through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

Data presented by the military showed a significant downtrend in insurgent presence within the Joint Task Force Diamond’s area of responsibility. From 437 rebels in early 2023, the number dropped to 312 by Feb. 15, 2024, representing a 28.6 percent decrease.

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