The military is urging the residents of Barangay Elizalde in Maco, Compostela Valley to stand firm against the demand of the rebels to support their selfish cause.
Speaking during a peace rally on Tuesday, Col. Roberto Domines, commander of the 1003rd Brigade, said the government, through the soldiers, is seriously trying to bring in peace and development in the countryside through the Peace and Development Outreach Program.
He said the support of residents should not be mandated by rebels as they have the freedom of choice as espoused by democracy.
“Let us not give in to their demands and stop supporting their selfish cause because if we allow them, their leaders’ interests enslave us,” he said.
Lt. Col. Camilo Ligayo, commanding officer of the 71st Infantry Battalion, said the people must not stop longing for peace and development to reign.
He said aspiring for a goal precedes the realization of peace and development in the communities.
Lt. Col. Joshua Santiago, spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Division based in Panacan here, said the rally was attended by a thousand residents of Barangay Elizalde.
He said three former rebels also shared their unworthy experiences in the rebel movement.
Fidel Cabello Sr., Barangay Elizalde chairperson, encouraged those who have relatives in the armed groups living on hinterlands to convince them and embrace the peace that the government is offering.