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URGES COMMUNIST REBELS TO SURRENDER

Duterte to NPA: ‘Choose a better fight in life’

/ 01:00 AM June 20, 2019
Duterte at the 121st Philippine Independence Day Celebration

President Rodrigo Duterte raises his fist while delivering a speech during the 121st Philippine Independence Day celebration at the 6th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Malabang, Lanao del Sur on June 12, 2019. (Photo by ALBERT ALCAIN / Presidential Photographers Division)

MANILA, Philippines — “Choose a better fight in life.”

President Rodrigo Duterte said this on Wednesday as a message to communist rebels whom he again urged to end their five decades-long insurgency — especially now that they were running out of guns, ammunition, and resources.

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He made the remark in a speech he delivered before members of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division in Camp General Vicente Lukban in Catbalogan, Samar.

READ: Duterte taunts NPA: You’re doomed

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The President told the rebels that, by laying down their arms, they would be assured of livelihood assistance from the government.

“Hindi ko maintindihan kung anong utak ginamit ninyo na hindi naman kailangan high school graduate ka. Ang tingin sa inyo na mali talaga… I mean, choose a better fight in life — iyang makapabuti sa anak mo, kapwa tao mo, sa gobyerno mo,” the President said.

[I can’t understand what kind of brains you have. You don’t have to be a high school graduate. People think you are mistaken… I mean, choose a better fight in your life — one that will be better for your children, for other people, for your government.]

“Pero magsige kayo ambush. Sabagay, masakit sa akin mamatayan ako ng lima, anim, pito. Pero I will never run out of soldiers because you are outnumbered — I think one is to 1,000,” he added.

[But then maybe you want to continue ambushing troops. It’s painful for me to lose five, six, seven soldiers. But I will never run out of soldiers because you are outnumbered — I think by one is to 1,000.]

The President, who had formally announced the termination of peace negotiations with communists, said the New People’s Army (NPA) could not outpower government forces because they were outnumbered and lacking in machinery.

“Hindi ko alam kung saan ninyo inilagay ‘yung utak ninyo diyan. Bakit hindi na lang kayo mag-surrender?”

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[I don’t know what happened to your brains. Why don’t you just surrender?]

“Tanggap kami nang tanggap. Meron akong programa. Gagawaan ko kayo ng bahay. Bigyan ko kayo ng trabaho,” he added.

[We keep on accepting surrenderers. I have a program. I will build you houses. I will give you jobs.]

READ: Duterte shuts door on peace talks: Talk to the next President

(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)

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