- President Rodrigo Duterte canceled the peace talks again
- This comes after his security men were wounded in a clash with the NPA
- Duterte said the military will go after the NPA after the fighting in Marawi City
President Rodrigo Duterte has again cancelled the peace talks with the left movement’s rebels.
During his surprise visit in Marawi City where soldiers are fighting off the terrorist forces, the President said the New People’s Army (NPA) has killed so much from the government’s security ranks.
“Marami silang utang sa atin. Ayoko nang makipag-usap sa kanila, marami na akong pulis na pinatay nila. Marami na akong sundalong pinatay nila,” ABS-CBN quoted Duterte’s speech before the soldiers.
Prior to Duterte’s announcement, five members of the Presidential Security Group were injured in a clash with around a hundred NPA rebels in a check point in North Cotabato.
“There is a strong resurgence. Nabubuhay na naman ang NPA. Pagkatapos nito —leche itong putukan na ito— kapag naubos na ang mga ulol diyan, mag-re-orient tayo, NPA na naman kasi marami silang utang sa atin,” the President also said.
[The NPA is alive once again. After this, damn this fighting, if all these fools are neutralized, let us re-orient. We will focus on the NPA because they owe us a lot.]
Peace talks with the communists was among the pronouncements of Duterte when he took on the presidency. He also gave slots to left-leaning personalities – Judy Taguiwalo, Liza Maza and Rafael Mariano – to be part of his Cabinet.
While the peace talks have surpassed the level of negotiations of the past administrations, it has remained on the rocks.
Duterte has previously scrapped the talks earlier this year when the NPA said they are dropping the unilateral ceasefire they declared.
But presidential advisor on the peace process Jess Dureza said a “categorical decision” has yet to be issued by the President.
“Let’s not interpret what the (President) says. Just limit ourselves to his exact words. I did not personally hear him. Did he categorically say he was canceling talks? If not then let’s wait. Let’s not speculate,” Dureza said in an Inquirer story.