Duterte counters Joma threat: Kill 5 rebels for every soldier slain

Communist leader Jose Maria Sison and President Rodrigo Duterte. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS)

President Rodrigo Duterte has said he could order the military to kill five rebels a day in response to the threat of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CCP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison that the rebels could kill one soldier a day.

“I can tell the military to kill five for every one soldier killed,” Duterte said in Bisaya  in a speech before former rebels in Malacanang on Wednesday.

“As long as they are NPA members, whether male or female, kill them,” he added.

Sison had earlier threatened the government that communist rebels would intensify its attacks and that they could kill one soldier a day to force the government to revive the peace talks.

READ: Joma: NPA could kill 1 soldier a day

But Roque dismissed Sison’s threat.

READ: Palace to Joma: With or without peace talks, NPA kills soldiers – so what’s new?

“I think the message is, you don’t threaten us, Joma Sison. We are the state. If we haven’t eradicated you, it’s because we opted not to eradicate you as Filipinos. But if you want war, we’re ready to go to war,” Roque said.

Asked if this was an indication of an all-out war, Roque downplayed this but said the government was ready to wage war against the New People’s Army (NPA).

“Hindi naman po pahiwatig pero nandiyan yung resource ng gobyerno at hindi dapat tinatakot ang gobyerno na parang mas malaki pa ang kakayahan nila na manaig sa isang digmaan,” he said. “Handa po ang hukbong sandatahan kung gusto nila ng digmaan.”

(Not that we are hinting it but there is the government resource and the government should not be threatened as if their strength is bigger and could win the war. The Armed Forces is ready if they want war.)/lb

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