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Duterte: NPA fighting for a 'bankrupt mind' like Sison

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said communist rebels are like "robots" fighting for "a bankrupt mind" in the person of Jose Maria Sison.

In a speech in Sta. Ana, Cagayan, Duterte hit out at rebels for their supposed atrocities including "slaughtering your own countrymen" and hindering the "ambitions of the people."

"What do you really want? You cannot even occupy a barangay or a sitio for 24 hours. Then you're able to shoot somebody, kill civilians, kill soldiers for nothing," he said in a speech following the destruction of smuggled vehicles at Port Irene.

"Not even an ideology. There is actually none at all. You are fighting for a bankrupt mind. Isang tao lang nag iisip. There is only one person using his goddamn gray matter between his ears. Para kayong robot kung ano 'yung inuutos."

Duterte also said the rebels "are starting to be arrogant again" by wanting war.

The President, however, emphasized that "war would bring us nothing." He appealed to the rebels to allow development to take place in the countryside.

"I don’t know what will happen to the talks. But if you guys want just maybe a place where you can work and earn money for your family for their education, you might do well just to talk to anybody even to the military and the police about how we can sort it out among ourselves," Duterte said.

Chances for a negotiated end to the communist insurgency slumped in June after Duterte pushed the resumption of peace talks to later date, saying he needed more time and more consultations on the matter.

Enraged by Duterte's move, Sison, the exiled founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, said it would be better to work for his ouster and prepare for peace talks with the next administration.

Despite setbacks, Malacañang said the government remains open to peace negotiations with the CPP's political arm, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, subject to certain conditions set by Duterte.

Duterte wanted the talks in the Philippines and communist insurgents had to stop collecting their revolutionary taxes.

He also wanted hostilities against government forces stopped, with New People's Army fighters "encamped," and no demand for a coalition government.

The government also said it would push for localized peace talks with communist rebels. However, the CPP said on July 13 that it would not participate in the talks, calling it a "sham and a waste of people's money." —JST, GMA News