Arroyo reiterates vow to crush rebels by 2010

Blames foes for slow growth, rights violations

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has renewed her vow to crush the communist insurgency by 2010, accusing the rebels of impeding economic growth and of committing a wide range of human rights violations.

Speaking at a local peace and security assembly in Bacolod City, Arroyo ordered the military and police to remain vigilant against communist rebels extorting from businesses and recruiting members, especially in the rural areas.

“The communists have spent years as [a] low level threat. It is time for their disruption [of the economy] and violation of human rights to be put to rest so that our nation can move ahead,” she said.

Arroyo also said the peace deal between the government and the communist breakaway group Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade in the Visayas has helped stem the growth of insurgency in the region.

“If we are to become first world by 2010, we have to put a stop to this ideological nonsense. By 2010, we hope the Philippines should be well on its way to achieving that vision. But for that to happen by 2010, the insurgency should be defeated,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo also defended the police and military from allegations that they are involved in human rights abuses, saying it is the rebels who are responsible for these.(PDI)

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