Duterte dangles house and lots for rebel surrenderers

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President Rodrigo Duterte (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 5) — President Rodrigo Duterte dangled free house and lots for communist rebels who will surrender to the government, including the choice of province they wish to settle in.

"Mo surrender ka ihatag ko na ang balay. Naa na [If you surrender, I will give you the house. It is already there]. Ready na. Daghang ko gipanghimong balay [I built a lot of houses] all throughout the Philippines," Duterte said during a speech at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines in Cagayan De Oro City. "If you want to transfer to another province maybe, there is always a room available for you to seek shelter."

But for those who will not surrender, Duterte again ordered the police and military to "shoot and kill" rebels during encounters if they see them with firearms.

"Akong giingnan ang militar ug police, mag engkwentro gani mo unya nag gunit ug armas, patya! Patya gyud. Tiwasi. [I told the military and police if there is confrontation and they are holding firearms, kill them! Make sure to kill them]... Ako nang sugo. Ako'y ma priso. Walay problema na [I ordered that. I alone will be imprisoned. No problem]," Duterte added.

The President was in the area to preside a meeting of the anti-communist task force's national and regional officials.

Duterte also promised to provide jobs to surrenderers and even rice sacks while they are looking for employment. He said the Technical Skills Development Agency or TESDA will help them with job training.

The President mentioned that 160,000 hectares have already been subjected to agrarian reform and he is targeting up to 400,000 hectares before the end of his term. He warned landlords who refuse to cooperate that he will be the one who will go to them to make sure they would agree.