If communist leaders intend to continue peace negotiations with the government, they better heed President Rodrigo Duterte’s message: don’t touch the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“What I cannot give you (leftist rebels): ‘Yung police pati military akin talaga. Nobody intrudes in that territory. All others, inyo na. I’m offering to you almost everything. ‘Wag lang police, military. It’s out of the question. Pag ayaw ninyong tanggapin ‘yan, thank you,” said a grim-faced Duterte in a speech during the wake of the militiaman killed in an ambush by the New People’s Army.
The killing forced Duterte to take back the unilaeral ceasefire he declared just a few days ago in his first State of the Nation Address.
Duterte said that from the start when he sent overtures that he would like to talk peace with the National DEmocratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), he already declared that he would never agree to giving an inch of the country’s territory to rebels’ hands.
“Tell me that I will order the Army or Police out of the mountains. That is out of the question. Sinabi ko na ‘yan sa inyo noon, at the start, kay (NDFP spokesperson Fidel) Agcaoili. It is not an issue at all because ayaw kong makipag-usap ng (teritoryo). Ang may-ari nitong lupa dito lahat, Republic of the Philippines. The people of the Philippines,” said Duterte.
Duterte aired this warning to the communists to show he was dead serious : “Hindi ko kayo tinatakot. Pag ayaw ninyo, okay sa akin. We fight for another generation.”
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