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Communists answer Duterte’s call to join fight vs. drugs

The Communist Party of the Philippines said it has reiterated its order to the New People's Army to "disarm and arrest" drug lords in response to President Rodrigo Duterte's call.

"In positive response, the CPP reiterates its standing order for the NPA to carry out operations to disarm and arrest the chieftains of the biggest drug syndicates, as well as other criminal syndicates involved in human rights violations and destruction of the environment," the CPP said in a statement released Saturday.

It added: "The NPA is ready to give battle to those who will resist arrest with armed violence."

The CPP, meanwhile, clarified that it does not have a "kangaroo court," saying that it also respects "the right to due process of criminal suspects."

In his speech during the change of command ceremony at the Armed Forces of the Philippines last Friday, Duterte asked the NPA to kill drugs personalities.

"Well, nakikinig naman ‘yung mga NPA, nasa pwesto pa naman kayo. Ano kaya ‘yung korte nito, I don’t know if it’s a kangaroo or otherwise, patayin na lang ninyo para mas madali ang masolusyonan ang problema natin," he said.

The CPP said in the statement that it has "long been carrying out a campaign against drug use and drug trafficking" and it "employs armed violence against the biggest traffickers of illegal drugs."

"It carries out a cultural revolution among the masses in order to encourage them to reject drug use and instead wage collective struggle," the CPP added.

Even before Duterte assumed the presidency, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza and and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III initiated the resumption of peace talks with the National Democratic Front.

Both peace panels have agreed to resume talks on the third week of July in Oslo, Norway.

The CPP said in the statement that it is already anticipating the possibility of a mutual ceasefire once talks resume.

"Until then, the NPA can continue to carry out select operations in defense of people’s rights and welfare, especially against the biggest criminal syndicates and their nefarious military and police cohorts," it said. —ALG, GMA News