President Rodrigo Duterte is ready to engage communist rebels in war for another 50 years.
This, after Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison, Duterte's former professor, said that there would be no need for peace talks because of the martial law in Mindanao and the alleged extrajudicial killings.
"I believe you, Mr. Sison. You are right. We stop talking. We’re wasting our time. This war that you are fighting, I was listening to you when I was a student. That was 50 years ago. Let us renew the fighting for another 50 years. If it’s what you want," Duterte said in a speech before businessmen in Davao City.
“So, to the enemies of the state—number one is the Communist Party of the Philippines. No more talk, let us fight and save enough money for the arms and buy the new ones, the precision-guided missile," he added.
In an ambush interview after the event, Duterte told reporters that he has decided to leave the peace talks, despite an earlier Malacañang statement that negotiations were just "on hold."
“Actually, maybe at this time they have decided really to stop talking and me I have also decided to just abandon the talks,” Duterte said.
The President also told the CPP that he would be a "bully" to those who try to topple government and to all the enemies of the state.
“That is my job to bully you and to kill you because there is a war going on between us and you. And you are killing my soldiers and policemen, so I bully you,” he said in his speech.
“And when the time comes, maybe I will kill you if I have the chance. I will have… I’ll give you the pleasure of doing it to me,” he added.
Surrender or be hunted
Duterte also told the communist leaders who were out on bail to participate in the peace talks to surrender.
“Yes, of course. They have to surrender or we will hunt them down. I am sorry, please do not resist because magkagulo tayo niyan if you resist with a firearm or with a violence there. Do not resist. Surrender,” he said.
Those who have been allowed to be out on bail include communist leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon.
“Kasi ang usapan natin i-release kayo conditionally so that you can participate in the talks and you can make it successful because your presence is needed. That was what’s the original [agreement] that came about releasing you,” he said,
“But since there is no more talks, stick to the agreement and surrender. You will be hunted. I will see to it. Pagkatapos nitong Marawi, tignan mo,” Duterte added.
The Office of the Solicitor General already asked the courts on Thursday to cancel all the bail bonds of the consultants of the National Democratic Front after Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said the backchannel talks with the communists were canceled. — RSJ/KBK, GMA News