Duterte likely to order ‘arming of everyone’ if NPA steps up attacks
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte seemed to be considering the idea of possibly ordering the “arming of everyone” if communist rebels would intensify their attacks.
In a speech in Masbate on Wednesday, Duterte said he would allow the purchase of firearms to help mayors in the fight against insurgency in their communities.
“I’m telling the NPA, I do not want to arm the people. But if you continue doing that, I will allow the purchase of individual firearm. Even the mayors, I will give them firearms. I have no choice,” he said.
But he said if the rebels would “tone down” with their violent activities, he would be willing to go back to peace negotiations.
“But if they can tone down, no ambush, no killing of my policemen and my military, we can talk,” he said.
Duterte said local chief executives “feel naked” as the rebels continue their atrocities.
“The mayors feel naked without [firearms]. Even you, [if] you go to war without arms,” he said.
“If there is ambush here and there, the people can’t bear it anymore. I will act then I’ll be forced to order the arming of everyone,” he added, even saying he would order “good guns.” /kga
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