MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said that peace talks with communist rebels will never prosper under any leadership if they will continue to attack state forces and civilians.
Duterte issued the statement in his pre-taped public address as he denounced the recent attack allegedly by the members of the New People’s Army (NPA) on government troops involved in a food aid mission in Quezon Province.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The president condemned the actions of the communist rebels and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“They only have the condemnation of the people, especially from me. Kaya hindi talaga tayo magkaintindihan kailanman,” he said.
“No peace talks can ever succeed under me or under any other president if you do not stop attacking government forces or even civilian leaders,” he added.
Duterte said that NPA rebels attacked the soldiers and police officers while they were on a mission to deliver food aid in Buenavista town last Saturday.
He blasted the communist group for their “sheer brutality,” adding that they no longer have any ideology except wanting to “plunder” and “kill all soldiers.”
“Itong mga ano, wala na ito. They do not have the ideology, wala na ‘yan silang prinsipyo sa ulo nila makipag-away. They are there to plunder and just for the sheer brutality of it all, they want to kill all soldiers. Yan ang dito napakahirap,” he said.
“The police and soldiers across the country have been distributing food aid and other aids, and despite the sacrifice of the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Police, still, they are the object of depredations, attacks,” he added.
Duterte said he no could not understand why the communist group would attack food mission amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“You are insensitive to the plight of the people na kailangan ng pagkain pati tulong ng gobyerno,” he said.
The chief executive also maintained that the government has not been remiss in providing support to the people heavily affected by the public health crisis.
“I would like the soldiers to know and the families of the fallen heroes, the nation is very grateful to you and we would know also how to reciprocate their bravery,” he said.
“Justice will be served sa kanila in the end,” he added.
The peace negotiations between the government and the communist group collapsed in 2017 after the president cited the group’s supposed failure to show sincerity to the peace process.