There will be no more ceasefire with the New People’s Army for the rest of his term, President Rodrigo Duterte said a few weeks before Christmas.
Duterte made the remark days after the Armed Forces of the Philippines suggested that he not declare a Christmas ceasefire with the communist rebels.
“There will be no ceasefire ever again under my term ko pagka-presidente,” Duterte said in his weekly public address.
“For all intents and purposes, ‘yong ceasefire is dead. Wala na ‘yon.”
Duterte also rejected the possibility of reviving peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front, the negotiating arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
“I walked away from the talks because we cannot understand each other. Maybe we were talking in different dialects but I just simply cannot understand the way it was being carried by the other side,” Duterte said.
“I would say the ceasefire is dead and the peace talks between the NDF, NPA, pati ’yong isali na rin natin legal front nila. Pati kayong lahat, I am identifying you because I have seen the records. You are really communists," he added.
"You’re out to share power so I have to destroy you," Duterte said.
Duterte said there would be a time before his term ends when he would name all of those involved with the NDF.
“Well I’m trying to sort out what we will do to you because you are now criminals and I said I have pointed out we are not only tagging you… We are identifying you and we will identify you anytime you want but there will be a time before my term ends, I will name all of you, kayong lahat sa NDF,” he said.
Duterte earlier accused militant organizations of being participants in a conspiracy led by the CPP to oust the government.
Last year, the Philippine government and the communist group both declared a ceasefire during the holiday season. It lasted from 12 a.m. of December 23, 2019 until 11:59 p.m. of January 7, 2020.
During that period of the ceasefire, respective armed units and personnel of the NPA were prevented from initiating operations against the state forces, which, in turn, only maintained defensive posture. -NB, GMA News