President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, February 7, said he would pursue efforts for peace with the enemies of the states including communist rebels despite his decision to terminate talks with them last year.
“I would talk to the enemies of the states, make peace with them and hopefully we can finally reach that level of comfort in our country without worrying about fighting,” Duterte said in his speech during the 145th founding anniversary and 2nd Kanlahi Festival in Tarlac.
In Pasay City on Tuesday, March 6, in his speech at an event organized by a business group, Duterte said a ceasefire declaration by communist rebels may make him resume talks with the communists.
“As far as I’m concerned, no talks, no ceasefire. Work it out. If you can have it, fine, show it to me, maybe I will reconsider,” Duterte said.
Duterte formally terminated peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF), the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA), with his issuance of Proclamation 360 in November 2017.
Duterte issued Proc. 360 which declared “the termination of peace negotiations with the NDF-CPP-NPA and all its adjuncts and organizational units,” as the NPA continued its attacks on government forces even as panels of the government and the NDF were deep in negotiations. Theproclamation also said that the communists “failed to show its sincerity and commitment in pursuing genuine and meaningful negotiations as it engaged in acts of violence and hostilities.”
The President after issuance of Proc. 360 would call the CPP/NPA combine as a “terrorist group.”
In his speech in Tarlac, Duterte said he canceled peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) after CPP founder Jose Maria Sison demanded for a coalition government.
“The problem with Sison, which I would like to have a peace talk, reach out to him. The problem is Sison wants at the end of the day a coalition government,” Duterte said.
The President said he cannot grant Sison’s demand because “sovereignty or the power to run the country, which is their sovereign power of the state, is given to Filipinos who are elected by the people.”
“So I said, if that’s what you want, at this early, let us stop this because I cannot give you what I do not own,” Duterte said.
Duterte said his government remains focused in solving the problems of law and order particularly terrorism, crimes and illegal drugs.
“You are lucky here in Luzon. The NPA movement is strongest in Mindanao particularly in my area of eastern Mindanao,” he said.
The President said series of harassments against civilians and killings of soldiers committed by the NPA despite an ongoing ceasefire had also prompted him to terminate the peace talks.
Though a number of NPA rebels and supporters have already returned to the fold of the law, Duterte said fighting remains abound in the eastern side of the country.
“If the Lord God have mercy, I think I can maybe solve the problem of the NPAs,” he said.
Duterte said the Moro rebel groups particularly the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have also expressed interests to attain long lasting peace in Mindanao.
Last Tuesday, Duterte hosted a dinner for the third batch of NPA rebel returnees at the Malacanang Palace.
Speaking before the 187 rebel returnees, Duterte said the rebel group has been fighting the government for the past 50 years and has brought nothing except misery to the lives of the people.
He promised the former rebels of financial assistance, education, training, jobs as well as their integration to the Armed Forces.
He also pledged to bring female rebel returnees to Hong Kong for them to see the achievements of capitalist societies, contrary to the promises of the NPA.
Duterte has congratulated the military for a job well done in convincing the NPA rebels to surrender. (PNA)
President Rodrigo Duterte said Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison is sick.
Turning the tables on Duterte, Sison said the President is also sick—- mentally.
Sison has hit back at Duterte, advising the chief executive to look after his mental health and consult a psychiatrist.
“I pity him and I am tempted just to let him go because what he says against me is patently baseless and comes obviously from a sick mind. But I still have to answer him to prevent him from misleading the public and rousing them the wrong way,” Sison said in a Facebook post.
Duterte earlier, also advised Sison to commit suicide.
“At any rate, he has to look after his mental health and consult with a professional psychiatrist. Is Duterte the kind of president and commander in chief the [Philippine government] can rely on for the factual basis of martial law which puts at risk the liberties, lives and limbs of millions of people?” he added.
Duterte and Sison have been exchanging heated words after the back channel talks between the government and communist rebels were cancelled.
Sison’s statement came a day after Duterte told the CPP founding chair to kill himself, saying that it would do the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) a favor.
“Sison, tumanda ka na lang diyan, ayaw mo pa aminin na may sakit ka. Maawa ka naman sa Norwegian government, pakamatay ka na lang,” Duterte said during the ceremonial turnover of financial assistance to the families of fallen soldiers and policemen killed in Marawi City.
During his second State of the Nation Address, Duterte claimed that Sison was suffering from colon cancer, which Sison — who is also the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) political consultant — denied, calling the President’s claim a “blatant lie.”
Sison said that he was “amused” by the President’s advice for him to commit suicide, but said he would never give Duterte the same advice. GMANews
President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday warned the New People’s Army (NPA), saying that the communist rebels should stop waging war against the government.
The President expressed his frustration over the continuing attacks by the NPA on government forces despite the ongoing peace talks.
“Would you please stop waging war? Alam mo hindi ko kayo maintindihan. Unang sabi doon sa itaas, si Sison ordered to engage government forces in this struggle… That they changed it so that they will stop until such time matapos itong sa Marawi siege. Kasi walang — ang sabi ko nga eh, there will never be a space for you kung terrorist ka, kayong mga komunista. Wala kayong space diyan sa terorista,” Duterte said.
“In the meantime kung mag-usap tayo in the future, then stop waging war kasi baka itong mga sundalo ayaw na rin makipag-usap,” Duterte said during the 50th Araw ng Davao del Sur held at the Davao del Sur Coliseum in Digos City.
“Kami, utusan lang kami lahat. We are just co-workers in government basta pulis. But the only reason na medyo mataas ako, but I do not control everything and I cannot control everybody,” he said.
“You decide. Do not create something which is not acceptable also to me and to the guys doing the fighting,” he added.
At the same time, the President renewed his commitment to bring peace to the country, reiterating his intention to negotiate with major rebel groups, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.
However, he said the government will never negotiate with the ISIS-inspired Maute group that occupied Marawi City.
The President also mentioned the ongoing conflict in Marawi City, sympathizing with the soldiers fighting for the city’s liberation from the Maute group.
He said he always prays that the war will end soon because he does not like people dying.
He said the military offensive in Marawi City will continue until the last terrorist is taken out.
The President meanwhile underscored the hard work of the Davao del Sur’s founding fathers.
“So, one is that I would like to credit the founding fathers of this province for their tireless effort to make what is now Digos,” the President said.
“Maganda na ang Digos ngayon, Davao del Sur,” he noted.
The President however said the only concern today for the province is illegal drugs, as he warned the local police force to stay away from the drug trade.
“Alam mo, ang problema lang ninyo is droga. Medyo malakas pati — I’m also — I would like to warn the police here,” Duterte said.
“Lay off sa drugs ha, kamong mga pulis kay alam mo na. Huwag kayong pumasok diyan kasi kasali kayo sa statistics diyan,” he said. (PND/PNA)
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