President Rodrigo Duterte warned the members of the Communists Party of the Philippines (CCP) including its legal fronts that they will be arrested, following the president’s cancellation of the peace talks with the Reds.
Speaking before members of the Special Operations Command of the Philippine Army at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija on Wednesday, Duterte said he will treat armed communist rebels as terrorists and criminals.
“I will simply declare you as terrorists. You’re terrorists including your legal fronts. Let’s not fool each other. I have been there,” Duterte said in mix Filipino and English.
“We will treat you as a criminal, period. And we will arrest everybody connected and even their legal fronts,” the president added.
Duterte also said the leftist groups should be declared as illegal organizations as they help to topple the government.
He also challenged the legal fronts to declare revolution, emphasizing that nothing will stop him from tagging them as terrorists.
“You are helping each other, conspiring to topple or whatever to sow terror…Even if you file complaints, even if you stage a revolution, no matter what you do, I don’t care because I will still declare you as a terrorist group,” Duterte said.
Earlier, Duterte said he would craft a proclamation that would brand the CPP as a terrorist group.
The president added that he will let the Reds do whatever they do but reiterated he will call the uniformed forces once they disobeyed the rules.
“You hold demonstrations but do not disturb others. I will let you do whatever you wanted. Once you mess up, then I will call the soldiers and police to do their duty,” Duterte said.
Duterte also cautioned the soldiers to be careful when confronting the NPA, saying they should always be armed as the rebel groups attack even when they are unarmed.
He also noted that six or seven soldiers were killed by the group just yesterday.