PEACE INITIATIVES. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte (left) meets with former rebel Ariane Jane Ramos at a Philippine Army camp in Paquibato District on Sept. 10, 2021. Ramos surrendered on August 1, saying she is tired of fighting and worried about her mental health. (Photo courtesy of Mayor Inday Sara Duterte Facebook)
DAVAO CITY – Mayor Sara Duterte has met with a former high-ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA), responsible for various atrocities in Paquibato District here, the Army’s 10th Infantry Division (10ID) confirmed on Monday.
In a statement, the 10ID said Duterte and Ariane Jane Ramos (alias Marikit), secretary of Guerrilla Front 55, Sub-Regional Committee 5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee, talked at the headquarters of the 1003 Infantry Brigade on September 10.
The statement added that the meeting was arranged to maximize the potential of Ramos in the Paquibato area as she has vital information and suggestions in achieving lasting peace.
“We all want to achieve peace and we will not stop looking for ways to give it to the Dabawenyos, especially the people of Paquibato,” Duterte posted on Facebook on Saturday.
Ramos, who was involved in extortion activities and armed clashes, used to be affiliated with the League of Filipino Students and Gabriela Youth.
In previous interviews, she said she got tired of fighting and saw how their forces dwindled and weakened.
“I felt alone. The collective leadership inside the party is slowly dwindling and I finally chose to focus on myself. We are just human and we became tired,” she said after her surrender in August 1.
The 10ID said Ramos promised to continue her advocacy in serving indigenous peoples communities and will help the government.
She also encouraged her comrades to come out of hiding and avail themselves of government programs through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) so they can reunite with their families.
“For the students, let us continue to be critical and focus on our studies. I encouraged activism but let us not come to the point that we are on the brink of thinking about life or death. For the businessmen, let us continue to extend our investment towards the development. Do not give to the demands of the extortion of any groups or organizations particularly using my name. Because I have no consent, I am already on the right track under the 1003rd Brigade and City Government of Davao for sustaining peace, security, and development,” she said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), NPA, and National Democratic Front are all designated terrorist organizations in the Philippines.
The United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand have also tagged the CPP-NPA as a terror group. (PNA)