MANILA, Philippines – After declaring the communist groups as terrorists, President Duterte has threatened to order the ‘mass arrest’ of National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants who are temporarily out on bail.
The President was referring to the 32 members of the NDF whom he allowed temporary liberty so they can participate in the peace talks with the government.
In late November, Duterte officially cancelled the peace talks due to the series of attacks by the rebel groups on government forces. Days later, he formally categorized the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist organization.
In his speech before the newly-appointed government officials on Wednesday in Malacañang, Duterte said he will order the mass arrest of these NDF consultants.
“For those who are out temporarily, you just maybe zero in now, because any day, I will order for their mass arrest,” the President said.
“Wala akong magawa eh. Ginusto ninyo, I’m addressing them to the TV, ginusto ninyo eh,” he added.
[I cannot do anything. This is what you want, I’m addressing them to the TV, this what you want.]
The President added he may have given too much, too soon to these people and the military were not too happy with his decision to release the 32 prisoners.
He also admitted the communist group demanded for a coalition government, which is something he cannot agree on.
“They are now considered ordinary criminals,” the commander-in-chief added.