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Duterte says Joma to be arrested if he returns home

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he will have Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison arrested if the latter decides to return home.

“If Joma Sison comes here, I will arrest him. Or if I were him, huwag na siyang bumalik dito,” Duterte said in a speech during the San Beda College of Law annual homecoming celebration.

“Better still, I will not allow him to enter his native land and that is a very painful experience specially if you’re dying and you think na you should be buried in your own cemetery, in your own town,” he added.

Sison has been residing in The Netherlands where he is seeking asylum as a political refugee since 1987.

Duterte issued the statement a day after he signed a proclamation terminating the peace talks between the government and the CPP-New People's Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP).

Sison, in a statement on Thursday, lashed out at Duterte, calling him the “No.1 terrorist in the Philippines” who is “culpable for the abduction, torture and mass murder.”

Sison slammed Duterte’s statements that he will declare the NPA as terrorists and will have the “legal fronts” of communist rebels arrested for conspiracy.

Malacañang, meanwhile, said Sison “is entitled to his own opinion.”

Duterte reiterated that communist leaders who were released on bail to participate in the peace negotiations should surrender following the cancellation of the talks.

He said he “conceded too much, too soon” when he allowed their release.

“Ni-release ko para to show good faith and the confidence building period which is really very necessary in talking to them and to the enemies of the state… Now, how I would deal with them is something like this. I will treat them as terrorists. And I will charge them for the crimes that they actually committed,” Duterte said.

Among those who were granted bail in August 2016 were NDFP consultants Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, who are facing multiple murder charges.

Duterte said communist rebels have done “so much destruction” in the country.

“Now, we have been fighting for 50 years. You want another 50 years? I have (been) pleading for peace. Eh sumobra kayo eh,” he said.

Duterte said his government intends to strengthen the military and police as he expects a “more violent activity of all sorts.” — KBK/BAP, GMA News