Apr. 21, 2017: AFP cautions Gina Lopez on plan to work with NPA
MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) cautioned Environment Secretary Gina Lopez on her plan to tap communist rebels for peace and development projects in mining areas in Agusan del Norte province.
AFP Spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the military still needs to check with Lopez on the context of why she said she was willing to work with the New People’s Army (NPA).
“We got wind of Sec. Gina’s pronouncement regarding Agusan’s development. We are with her and recommend she work instead with the real champions of change in the area…our ever reliable LGUs, your armed forces, the police, our concerned government agencies and recognized IP (indigenous peoples) leaders,” Padilla said in a statement.
“We value her service, dedication and commitment and will willingly secure her, her team and projects if called upon to do so. It would do well to trust and partner with all these reliable agencies rather than armed extortionists,” Padilla added.
Earlier today, Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Ma. Sison said he welcomed Lopez’s willingness to work with the NPA, which has been waging the longest communist insurgency in Asia.