Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte urged the New People’s Army (NPA) on Friday to refrain from pulling down local infrastructures constructed for the people like hydroelectric power plants, transportation and communication facilities, and all other structures in the country.
Duterte said this clearly in his 9 December 2016 talk before local government unit (LGU) officials, industrialists, and entrepreneurs, right after the groundbreaking ceremony for the 10.6 megawatts Pulanai Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEPP) project in Bukidnon.
He called on the NPAs to desist from any industrial action that may disturb national economy. Instead, he enjoined rebel leaders to help in securing the country’s structures against any destruction and engage in efforts to start talking peacefully.
In his brief remarks at the project site in Lumbayao village, Valencia City, the President said he declined the rebels’ demand of releasing the 120 political prisoners and peace consultants of National Democratic Front, emphasizing that the government’s interest should always prevail.
“I am true to my oath of office. I refused to grant the NPA’s demand because I have given so much too soon. I could only do it if they can produce and show me a document that says they agree to an indefinite ceasefire. I want permanent and lasting peace,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, he said, the Pulanai HEPP is a run-of-river project by Pure Meridian Hydropower Corporation (PMHC)—a joint venture of MERALCO and Repower Energy Development Corporation—that will generate over 74 GW-hr energy annually from Bukidnon’s Pulangui River.
The HEPP developers also explained that the project is a run-of-river energy source that will generate millions for LGUs and will provide employment opportunities.
Since the project creates economic activity in the community, Duterte urged not only the NPAs but the entire community to join the nation’s quest to avert climate destabilization, thereby making change happen. (RLRB, PIA 10-Bukidnon)