25 former NPAs in North Cotabato to get skills training

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines — The government will teach 25 former communist rebels in the province livelihood skills to hasten their reintegration into local communities.
The 25 former members of the New People’s Army from North Cotabato's adjoining Arakan, Magpet and President Roxas towns yielded in batches to the Army's 19th Infantry Battalion in recent months.
In a statement Tuesday, the 19th IB said the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority will handle the program with the help of North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza.
Skilled carpenters in the ranks of the 19th IB will also train them in carpentry.
The former NPAs and representatives from the office of TESDA in Region 12 held an initial dialogue last week on the mechanics of the short-term vocational courses they need for them to have sources of income.
A private entity, the Institute for Motorbikes and Auto Mechanics Incorporated, volunteered to help train them to repair and maintain motorcycle engines.
The community-based skills training package is part of the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
The government has announced that it will shift to "localized" peace talks with communist rebels instead of through the National Democratic Front, which has been negotiating for the Communist Party of the Philippines and NPA, after President Rodrigo Dutetre scrapped a planned resumption of formal talks. 
The communists have rejected the idea, saying it showed a "very shallow appreciation of the profound social problems which are at the root of the raging civil war in the Philippines."
The CPP-NPA-NDF believe feudal agrarian relations, imperialism and "bureaucrat capitalism"—or the use of government resources and structures by the ruling class to enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of the people—have kept the majority of Filipinos poor.

"We cannot expect these problems to be answered by local governments," the spokesperson for the NDF-affiliated Cordillera People's Democratic Front said earlier this month.

Source: https://www.philstar.com/nation/2018/07/25/1836650/25-former-npas-north-cotabato-get-skills-training


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