Special Assistant to the President Secretary Christoper “Bong” Go has appealed to communists to show their utmost sincerity to the government when the peace talks begin.
“Pati po itong sa left ‘no, sa NPA (New People’s Army). Mag-uumpisa na po ang pag-uusap nila. Kaya po nanawagan ako na sana maging sincere sila sa pag-uusap,” Go said in a media interview in Buluan, Maguindanao.
This, as he recalled how he and then mayor of Davao City President Rodrigo Duterte would go to the mountains unguarded to meet with the rebels.
“Noon pa ‘yan, kahit nung mayor pa siya ilang beses na kaming umakyat sa bundok. Kaming dalawa lang ni Pangulo. Nakakausap niyo siya dahil may tiwala po siya sa inyo, kaming dalawa lang umaakyat doon, walang bodyguard,” Go said.
The presidential aid further emphasized Duterte’s determination to achieve long-term peace with the reds, amid their decades-long rebellion.
“At alam niyo gaano ka-sincere si Pangulong Duterte sa pag-uusap na ‘to. Sana kayo rin,” he added.
Meanwhile, Go also elaborated on the Maguindanao Balik-Baril Program, which was launched last April 25.
According to him, the president has instructed the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to extend necessary assistance to those who will surrender their loose firearms.
Beneficiaries will receive livelihood assistance, scholarship grants, and weaving tolls. Moreover, they could also be given their own lands with the help of DAR.