Duterte on Parago burial: ‘He was no robber’ | Inquirer News
Close  

Duterte on Parago burial: ‘He was no robber’

/ 05:59 AM July 12, 2015
MAYOR Rodrigo Duterte speaks at the last day of the wake for slain New People’s Army leader Leoncio Pitao, alias Commander Parago, at the Almendras Gym in Davao City. He pledged he won’t wage war on the Communist Party of the Philippines and New Peoples Army and if, by chance, gets elected as President, the NPA would have one foot set in Malacanang. DENNIS JAY SANTOS/INQUIRER MINDANAO

MAYOR Rodrigo Duterte speaks at the last day of the wake for slain New People’s Army leader Leoncio Pitao, alias Commander Parago, at the Almendras Gym in Davao City. He pledged he won’t wage war on the Communist Party of the Philippines and New Peoples Army and if, by chance, gets elected as President, the NPA would have one foot set in Malacanang. DENNIS JAY SANTOS/INQUIRER MINDANAO

DAVAO CITY—Mayor Rodrigo Duterte defended his decision to allow a hero’s burial for slain New People’s Army leader Leoncio Pitao here on Friday, saying there was nothing wrong with it.

Criticisms against Duterte flooded social media with some posts accusing him of being a communist, too, for allowing NPA members and supporters to hold a funeral march for Pitao, known in the underground movement as Commander Parago, in the city.

ADVERTISEMENT

Among the critics was Pastor Alcover, an anticommunist leader, who wrote on his Facebook page that Duterte should be condemned.

“Parago is dead. Death is permanent. But to me when the person is dead it is all even,” Duterte retorted.

FEATURED STORIES

The mayor said while Parago was a communist leader, he should be respected for his ideology.

“After all, that guy is not an ugly guy,” said Duterte of Parago. “He was not a robber. He did not sell drugs. He was there dreaming of a different setup for the Philippines. That is all his sin,” the feisty mayor said.

Duterte said there was nothing wrong in his talks with the NPA either because, as a mayor, one of his jobs is to ensure the city is peaceful and free from communist-led violence.

“I cannot seal my door. I need a window to talk to the CPP-NPA,” he said.

Still on allowing the funeral march for the slain NPA leader, during which red-shirted NPA supporters and suspected members waved communist flags on the streets of the city, Duterte said he told security officials to allow it.

“We should not be contrasting on death. I’m your mayor. It’s not my job to do the fighting,” he said.

Duterte also openly admitted that he was not against the NPA and its quest for social equality.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I am not against you. I will not fight against you. We have the same view of the government and politics,” he said.

But he immediately added that he did not subscribe to an armed struggle.

“What is not with me is the armed struggle,” he added.

Duterte then went on to say that much of the problem that brought the NPA’s armed struggle was rooted in dire poverty and that many people had been marginalized.

“The NPA is pursuing a kind of democracy based on socialism,” he said.

“(But) I don’t believe in killing fellow Filipinos,” he said, adding that he preferred negotiations or elections to bring about social change.

Asked anew if he would seek the presidency to bring about the social change he had in mind, Duterte said: “That would be the joy of the NPA.”

“They would be able to set foot on Malacañang. One foot of the NPA would be in Malacañang,” he said.

“But I am not a candidate. I am just a mayor,” he said. Dennis Jay Santos, Inquirer Mindanao

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Commander Parago, Leoncio Pitao, New People's Army, NPA, Pastor Alcover, Rodrigo Duterte, Rody Duterte
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.