- President ordered security forces to shoot armed communist rebels and terrorists
- He said NPAs will be treated as terrorists and not rebels in new executive order
- He also said gov’t is ready to fight Reds for another 50 years
MANILA, Philippines – Ahead of his planned reclassification of the New People’s Army (NPA), President Rodrigo Duterte told security forces to shoot armed communist rebels and terrorists as further talks with them are useless.
‘Di [Just] shoot them. Eh they will kill you anyway. So if there is an armed NPA there or terrorists, if he’s holding any firearms, shoot. Ako na ang magsagot [I will answer for you], you just shut up,” GMA News quoted him as saying.
With the breakdown of peace talks, Duterte said the NPA will no longer be treated or charged as rebels but as terrorists since the former connotes they are fighting for the country’s welfare..
“I am preparing now. They are preparing the executive order declaring them to be terrorists and they will be afforded the treatment of being criminals,” he said. “There will be no filing of cases under the public security like rebellion because rebellion is considered sometimes a noble undertaking, it’s only because you want your country to do better.”
The president also said he is ready to engaged in another decades-long war with the Reds since they seemingly do not want peace.
“But if the NPAs, just like the terrorists, would do it, then we will give them the favor. There will be no talks with the NPAs now. And I told them, ‘We have been fighting this war 50 years ago and they want another 50 years,”’ he said.
Duterte earlier warned of arresting all members of the NPA and its legal front associated with them, particularly the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).