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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, August 18, 2017
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Negrenses give
bounty for rebels

Donors from Negros are the ones putting up a bounty for the neutralization of New People's Army rebels and ISIS-linked local terrorists or extremists, who may attempt to penetrate Negros island, and not the   Armed Forces of the Philippines or local government units,    Maj. Gen. Jon Aying, Army's 3 rd   Infantry Division commander, clarified yesterday    .

Aying said an informant who can give information on the location or disposition of NPA rebels, PAGs or other lawless armed groups to the military, that may result in successful operations, will receive rewards, with the amount depending on the number of personalities neutralized.

The bounty only applies to NPA members and other lawless groups existing in Negros, he emphasized.

The move of the Negrense donors, who expressed their concern over the security of Negros, to offer a bounty that will help in the “neutralization” of terror organizations, especially the NPA, among other armed groups, has been welcomed by the Philippine Army.

Military records show that more than 100 individuals, majority of them civilians, have been killed by the NPA in Negros, since 2010.

  Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Carlos Zarate, in a statement, said the bounty offer is an “invitation for (an) AFP killing spree.”

“This is condemnable as it is gravely dangerous. It is tantamount to sanctioning murder for a fee and an open travesty of the rule of law,” Zarate said.

Aying said communist rebels, either in active or inactive status, may also avail of rewards if they facilitate the surrender of their comrades.

If they successfully manage to facilitate the surrender of three of their colleagues, they will get P300,000, he added.

  The military estimates that there are about 200 NPA operating in Negros.

  Aying said he was told by the concerned Negrense donors, whose identities being withheld for security reasons, that they can afford to pay, if those 200 rebels will surrender, and abandon the armed struggle.

  However, Aying said there will a thorough evaluation in giving the rewards.

“We have to be very sure that those subjected to this information are bonafide members of the CPP-NPA, especially the “hardened rebels '” Aying said.

To NPA rebels who may surrender, Aying said the provincial government of Negros Occidental is giving financial and livelihood assistance, and housing units, on top of the national government assistance, as stipulated in its Comprehensive Local Integration Program.* GPB

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