Press Release
September 18, 2006

Rising income, not rising violence is best antidote to insurgency

Sen. Ralph G. Recto today doubted whether a pure military solution can wipe out the worlds longest running communist insurgency by 2010, as vowed by military officers Sunday.

You cant kill the insurgency by killing insurgents. Rebellion has roots in poverty and perceived social injustice. Uproot these and you rob the revolution of its appeal, Recto said.

Recto said that rising income, not rising violence is the best antidote to insurgency.

Poor areas will no longer become rich grounds for insurgency if we improve the lot of people living there, he said.

He said massive spending in the countryside, from new tax collections, should be done to arrest the spread of rebel influence.

To a certain extent, and if applied well, pork barrel and not the barrel  of the gun can win over the people to the side of the government, he said.

More than inserting soldiers in the battlefield, we should infuse funds into health, education, agriculture, roads, technology and shelter projects, Recto said.

But this is not being done. In the case of the super regions program, Mindanao is getting a measly 6 percent share out of the P372 billion total cost, Recto said.

It is also unfair on the part of the military if they will solely carry the burden of defeating insurgency, he said.

They can only do as much. Victory cant be counted in terms of body bags. And this is one enemy capable of regenerating itself despite losses due to the supply of warm bodies lured by the promise of economic salvation, he said.

It is not enough that we support our soldiers in their fight against enemies of the state. It is also important that we give them the right strategy, Recto said.

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