President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday threatened to kill Jose Maria Sison if the founder of the Communist Party of Philippines would return to the country even if peace talks with the leftist movement failed.
In a speech in his hometown Davao City, Duterte said he would honor his word that he would not have Sison arrested if he was in the country and the peace talks failed.
Duterte had invited Sison to return to the country for renewed peace negotiations.
"Kung magkasinabot ta maayo ug dili [kung magkaintindihan tayo mabuti, kung hindi] I will see to it and will personally maybe escort him to the airport pag walang nangyari sa two months," Duterte said in a speech in Davao City.
"I will allow him to go out. I will not arrest him because word of honor 'yan. But sabihin ko talaga sa kanya, ‘P— ina mo, huwag ka na bumalik dito. Papatayin talaga kita'," he added.
Duterte said Sison, the CPP and the New People's Army had killed too many in the course of the decades-old communist insurgency.
"Do not ever ever return again to this country [or else] I will kill you. You have killed so much of my soldiers and policemen," Duterte said.
"Dapat lang," he added.
Duterte has invited Sison, who has been living in self-imposed exile in The Netherlands, to return to the Philippines so they can directly negotiate peace and oversee the talks during the 60-day period set by the chief executive himself.
Sison said he was willing to come home provided there would be significant development in the peace negotiations and his lawyers are satisfied with legal and security precautions.
"I gave him a window of two months, very small, make or break tayo dito," Duterte said.
Sison fled to Europe soon after peace talks with the government of then-President Corazon Aquino failed in 1987 and has stayed in The Netherlands since, while the country's longest running insurgency continued to claim thousands of lives amid fighting with government troops.
Last month, the President opened to door to resuming the talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on the condition that the communist rebels stop their violent attacks and extortion activities, agree to a bilateral ceasefire, and would not insist on a coalition government.
Duterte has also committed to provide livelihood assistance to rebels provided that they stop collecting so-called "revolutionary taxes."
He also expressed willingness to shoulder the expenses during the peace process.
The peace talks got scuttled last November with government blaming it on continued attacks by the rebels on government troops and civilians. —NB, GMA News