MANILA — Communist ideology is not needed to implement genuine land reform program in the country, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said Tuesday.
“To date, I have distributed something like 6,000 titles. You do not have to be a communist to have a good, true blue land reform program,” Duterte said in a speech at the Annual Assembly of Provincial Union of Leaders against Illegality (PULI) in Lucena City, Quezon.
The President said the communist ideology is “over and done with” as countries all over the world are adopting democracy.
“Iyan sinasabi ko sa komunista eh (that’s what I’m telling communists). You have jeopardized, caused sorrow and misery to the country fighting for a lost cause. Wala na ‘yang ideolohiya ng komunista (Communist ideology is no longer there). It’s over and done with,” he said.
Duterte said communists will never gain control of the Philippines.
“Mga tao magpakamatay at pumatay ng kapwa nila Pilipino na walang kasalanan. Basta na lang patayin kasi hindi magbigay ng taxation. Susunugin ‘yung hindi iyo (Filipinos die and kill innocent countrymen just because they cannot give tax. Communists commit arson.) And for what? For 52 years. Baka akala ninyo makuha ninyo ang gobyerno (Maybe you’re thinking you can get control of the government). Not in a million years. Hindi nga ninyo mahawakan isang barangay (You can’t even gain control of one village),” he said.
Duterte urged members of the rebel group Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to surrender and return to the government’s fold and promised them livelihood programs if they do so.
“Mag-surrender kayo (You surrender). I will guarantee you — I will build a house for you here. Maghanap ako. Kaagad, magpagawa ako saNHA [National Housing Authority] (I’ll find a place and immediately ask the NHA to build houses). Then I will pay you tapos magtayo ako dito ng TESDA [Technical Education and Skills Development Authority] (and order a TESDA center to be established),” he said.
The CPP-NPA, in previous reports, has been allegedly tagged in cases of extortion, mass murder, and violation of indigenous people’s rights.
The US State Department and the European Union have both tagged the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization.