President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday shot back at Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Founding Chairman Jose Maria Sison over his threat that the rebels could kill one soldier a day if the government does not resume the peace negotiations.
Duterte was unfazed by the threat, telling over 200 rebel returnees in an event in Malacañang that he can order the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to kill five New People’s Army (NPA) members for every soldier killed.
“Ako muingon [sa] akong militar, mupatay ug lima kung naay mapatay na usa. Sige daw. Babae ug lake basta NPA patya (I can order the military to kill five rebels for every soldier killed. As long as they are NPA members, whether male or female, kill them),” Duterte said in his native Cebuano.
Duterte also criticized Sison, saying the communist leader is harboring ambitions to succeed him in Malacañang.
“Gusto siya muilis nako. Walay question na. Pilipino siya. Ambot kung Pilipino ba gyud ning y*w* na. Murag man taga Taiwan ang hitsura. Gusto siya magpapili ug presidente, walay question na. (He wants to succeed me. No question about that. He’s a Filipino. Actually, I don’t know if he is one. He looks like a Taiwanese national. He wants to run for president, no question about that),” the President said.
Sison, who is in exile in The Netherlands, said in a statement on Sunday that the NPA should launch more attacks against the government to force the resumption of peace talks.
“With or without Duterte as president, the GRP will decide to negotiate peace when the people´s war can inflict larger casualties on enemy troops,” he said.
Sison said the NPA could kill one soldier a day in 17 regions.
“That eliminates at least 510 enemy troops or some five companies every month nationwide. That translates to the elimination of some 60 companies or 20 basic battalions every year,” he said.
Reacting to Sison’s statements, the Philippine National Police and AFP said they are ready to counter the NPA’s intensified attacks.
The AFP said Sison's threat will not prevent the military from continuing its offensives against the CPP-NPA, adding that living in constant danger is part of the sworn duty of every serviceman. — BAP, GMA News