MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte shrugged off threats from communist groups, threatening to kill five New People’s Army (NPA) rebels for every soldier killed.
Earlier, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said that the NPA can still begin attacks that could kill one government soldier a day and force the government to revive the peace talks.
“The NPA in 17 regions has actually the capacity of knocking out at least one AFP soldier every day per region. That eliminates at least 510 enemy troops or some 5 companies every month nationwide,” Sison said on Sunday.
“I can order my military to kill five rebels for every single soldier killed. Get it on. As long as they are NPA’s, whether female or male, kill them,” Duterte answered in his native language, before former communist rebels he invited in Malacañang.
Duterte slammed anew Sison, saying that the latter also wants to be the president of the country.
“He wants to succeed me. No question about that. He’s a Filipino. I don’t know if he really is a Filipino because his face looks like he is from Taiwan. He wants to be chosen as the president, no question about that,” the president said.
It can be recalled that Sison has already surrendered on the possibility of negotiating for peace with his former student, Duterte, saying that it is difficult to hold a ‘’serious’’ conversation with the president who should undergo a psychiatric examination.
In November last year, Duterte terminated peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines after supposed continuous attacks of NPA guerrillas against government forces amid ongoing peace talks.
The president also ordered the arrest of the CCP including its legal fronts following the cancellation of the peace talks.
“We will treat you as a criminal, period. And we will arrest everybody connected and even their legal fronts,” Duterte said.
He also described the CPP-NPA as terrorists and criminals.
“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 added.