Some 241 former fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) will be having a dinner date with President Rodrigo Duterte in the Malacañang Palace later tonight.
The NPA guerillas are from the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, and 38 out of the 241 surrenderees are female fighters who boarded two military transport planes from the Davao International Airport to Manila.
These returnees were among the 683 former rebels from Eastern Mindanao who were introduced to the President in December last year.
Before the meeting with the President, the rebel returnees will be be touring Luneta Park and Intramuros with Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Leonardo Guerrero. The former rebels will also have the chance to interact with former companions who currently work as peace advocates for the Philippine government.
Peace brokers say that the tour was included with the visit to Malacañang to help rebel returnees, who have spent a considerable portion of their lives in the hiding and fighting the government, gain a better perspective on peace-building and nationalism.
The former NPAs will also undergo vocational courses provided by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Last year, the Chief Executive terminated the peace talks with the Communist group following continued attacks against government troops and later tagged the NPA as a terrorist organization.
Recently, Duterte also put a bounty on the heads of NPA members saying that he would give a cash reward of Php 100,000 for every NPA fighter killed.