Build more roads, dispose gov’t lands to end insurgency

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BUILDING more roads and disposing of non-performing assets in Mindanao would somehow significantly reduce – if not totally eradicate insurgency down south, says President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a briefing with Cabinet members in the aftermath of tropical storm Auring in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur, Duterte has issued directives to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones was told to distribute government lands that are no longer productive, while Public Works Secretary Mark Villar was instructed to speed up paving roads.

“I need the barangay roads to improve the insurgency program,” Duterte said as he issued the directive to the DPWH.

“Kaya si Castriciones, ang land reform kasi covers only ‘yung mga hindi agricultural, sabi ko sa kanya, ibigay na niya ang lupa, lahat ng makita ninyo sa gobyerno ibigay n’yo sa tao, hindi naman nagagamit for productivity,” Duterte said.

The Palace chief executive admits insurgency remains a problem, especially with the Caraga region, composed of the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, getting special mention.

“Mindanao remains to be a problem . . . Ang Caraga ang pinakamasakit sa ulo,” he added.

Meanwhile, the President warned rebels against recruiting minors.

“Itong mga kinukuha nila, iyong mga bata, dinadala nila sa ibang lugar. …Isauli ninyo sa tatay at nanay nila because a child, minor should not be separated from their family,” he said.

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