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Duterte OKs creation of task force on distribution of gov’t idle lands to ex-rebels

MJ Blancaflor



President Rodrigo Duterte has formed a new task force under the Department of Agrarian Reform to hasten the land distribution for former communist rebels, Malacañang announced Tuesday.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the chief executive also approved the proposal to increase government security in critical public lands, as well as to identify idle government lots to be distributed to rebel returnees.

Nograles said the initiatives, approved during the Cabinet meeting on Monday night, are aimed at building confidence with those who want to return to the fold of the law.

So far, about 6,406.6 hectares of land in Cagayan Valley, Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, and Davao Region have been distributed by the state, said Nograles.

“We want to hasten the distribution of the lands because we know this plays a huge role in our peace efforts,” he said.

During Monday’s Cabinet meeting, Duterte also gave his go signal to the military and police force to provide security measures in the government-owned land areas which are found to be critical in nature.

The President recently issued amnesty proclamations for former members of four communist groups in a bid to strengthen the state’s peace-building efforts.

The amnesty covered Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front, and members of the Rebolusyonaryong  Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade.

The four amnesty proclamations, signed by the President on 5 February, will take effect upon concurrence by a majority of all members of Congress.