From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 2): President Duterte willing to declare ceasefire with NPA
President Rodrigo Duterte is willing to declare total ceasefire with the communist revolutionaries even if government is still dealing with the Marawi crisis.
The President even urged NPA supporters to send his message to the New People’s Army.
“If you’re friends, tell them that they can announce and I will announce a total ceasefire in the meantime that we are busy dealing with the problem in Marawi,” he said.
While he is willing to declare ceasefire again, the President asked: “Would you please stop waging war against?” “Mag-usap ba tayo o hindi?” he quipped.
This developed as the President highlighted the NPA as one of Davao del Sur’s top concerns during the culminating program of its 50th founding anniversary on Thursday evening.
Speaking before some 4,000 local officials, barangay leaders and residents, he warned the NPA to stop waging war. He expressed disappointment over the conflicting pronouncements of the communist leadership on engaging government forces in the revolutionary struggle. He also mentioned the leadership’s declaration that they will stop until the Marawi siege is finished.
Duterte warned there will be no space left for the NPA if they become terrorists.
“There will never be a space for you kung terrorists ka, kayong mga komunista. Wala kayong space diyan sa terorista (if you are terrorist, you communist. You don’t have space with terrorist),” he pointed out.
Referring to accusation of human rights violations by government forces, Duterte said the revolutionaries are equally guilty because they ambush that women are also killed.
“Ano ba talaga? Mag-usap ba tayo o hindi (So what is it? Do we talk or not?” he asked.
If the communist want to talk peace, Duterte said they should stop waging war. He said the government forces are no longer keen on holding talks.
“We are just co-workers in government asta pulis (also the police). But the only reason na medyo mataas ako (I am on top), but I do not control everything and I cannot control everybody,” he stressed.
“If you want to stop fighting, you want to talk to us, then my God, please stop killing us. You kill my (soldiers),” he declared.
The President underscored fighting between the government and the revolutionaries, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro national Liberation Front (MNLF), is already as old as Davao del Sur province.
“Now tell me, do you want to fight another 50 years? Wala akong problema. May mga sundalo, may sweldo. Fifty years, sige. But this time, kung giyera, giyera gyud. Wala tayong patawaran (I don’t have any problem. There are the soldiers, they have salaries. Fifty years, fine. But this time if it’s war, it is really war. No excuses,” he said.
Duterte however, reminded that in 50 years people are weary and no longer confident on the revolutionaries, as well as the government.
“So let’s fight on even grounds. I’m willing to accept the offer that you’ll stop fighting, good. I accept that and we can talk again, I said,” he added.
“You decide. Do not create something which is not acceptable also to me and to the guys… doing the fighting,” Duterte urged communists.