Duterte tells communist leaders to surrender ‘or face punitive actions’
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday ordered the leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), who were earlier given temporary freedom, to surrender as he declared them a terrorist group.
Duterte told the officials of the CPP and its affiliate organizations to surrender and “go back where they belong,” calling them as “terrorist group.”
“I have ordered release of about 30, 40 communist leaders from Muntinlupa. Now I will consider the movement of the Communist Party of the Philippines as a terrorist group. I am ordering those I have released temporarily to surrender or face again punitive actions,” Duterte said in front of scout rangers in Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan.
“You have to go back where you belong. I released you because I thought it might help you. Eh kung hindi makatulong (If that would not help) then you are undercutting me before the eyes of the Filipino people, you must be joking. You must be joking because I will go after you and I do not really care whatever happens thereafter,” he added.
Duterte issued the statement a day after he formally declared the termination of peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF).
The President signed on Thursday Proclamation No. 360, which terminates the peace negotiations with the NDF and ordering the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process to cancel all the talks and meetings with the group.
CPP founder and NDF chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison on Friday called Duterte, his former student, as the Philippines’ “No. 1 terrorist” for being “culpable for the abduction, torture and mass murder of an increasing large number of poor people, suspected drug users and pushers” under his violent anti-illegal drug campaign. /jpv