Duterte to NPA: Stop attacks on energy, communication facilities
President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the New People’s Army (NPA) to stop attacking and damaging energy and communication facilities, citing their propensity to burn equipment of companies who refuse to pay revolutionary tax.
“Ang style kasi ng NPA, pag hindi niyo naibigay, sunugin (NPA’s style is if they don’t get what they want, they’ll burn [the facility]). Hoy. Makinig kayo ha. Huwag ninyong pakialaman ‘yung sa tao (Hey! Listen. Don’t’ mess with the [facilities] for the people). Energy, communication, everything. Lay off, lay off,” Duterte during the inauguration of the 10.6-megawatt Pulanai hydroelectric power plant in Bukidnon.
The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has bombed and torched different facilities in the country as retaliation to firms who do not pay revolutionary tax.
“May I ask the New People’s Army, ‘wag niyo itong hingian kasi pag nagkuha kayo ng pera sa kanila, itong mga ‘to mag-plano naman kung paano pataasan nila ‘yung electric,” he said.
(May I ask the NPA, don’t ask for money, because once you get money from them, these [firms] will plan on increasing fees for electricity.)
The Philippine government and the communist rebel are currently on a ceasefire agreement as both sides pursue the peace talks.
The National Democratic Front (NDF) has demanded the release of over a hundred political prisoners but Duterte has rejected their demand. The President said he wanted the both parties to sign an indefinite bilateral ceasefire.
“You’re asking or demanding the release of 120 political prisoners. I denied it. I declined to do it because I have given so much too soon. Sabi ko sa kanila (I told them), produce to me a document which is that you have agreed to an indefinite ceasefire,” Duterte said.
Political prisoners, NDF consultants and human rights advocates are on a hunger strike to demand from Duterte the release of political prisoners. CDG