MANILA – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. on Friday presented eight New People’s Army (NPA) commanders who surrendered to authorities.
In a press briefing in Camp Crame, Quezon City, the DILG chief said he is happy to welcome these surrenderers back to mainstream society.
“Ang tumulak dito is they have seen an opening na pagkakataon na ito sinasabi ng ating Pangulo (Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.), pagkatiwalaan ang ating pamahalaan kaya nga binababa namin. Sa iba, maniwala kayo sumurrender kayo dahil yung hinihingi ninyo nandirito na ang gobyerno (What drove them to this is they have seen an opening, an opportunity that our President is saying, trust our government that’s why we are urging to turn themselves. To other rebels, just surrender because the government is here for what you are asking for),” he said.
While he did not elaborate on other details of the surrenderers, Abalos assured that government interventions are in place to assist them.
“Well as I have mentioned, sila ay mga commanding officers, mahaba ang involvement nila, dumaan na sa proseso, kamukha ng sinasabi ko importante rito ang interventions of government na gagawin talaga namin ito yung ipapakita namin (Well as I have mentioned they are commanding officers, they have been involved for a long time, have gone through the process, As what I am saying, the interventions of government are important here and we will actually do what we are espousing),” Abalos said.
In the same briefing, Abalos described as “preposterous” the accusation of Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. of plotting a raid in his house.
“I do not want to glorify that statement by answering it. It is a preposterous accusation. I have never had that issue in my whole life. Sinabi ko nga ‘yung pagkatao ko na lang yung mag-aano sa akin (I just have said that my character would answer for me),’’ he said.
Asked on Teves’ call for his resignation, Abalos said the solon is entitled to his own opinion.
On Thursday, Teves pointed to Abalos as the one allegedly behind efforts to secure a search warrant at his residence and even plant evidence if nothing illegal is found.
He claimed that Abalos made some personal attacks against him and even linked him to illegal e-sabong or online cockfight operations (PNA)