MANILA -- MalacaAang said Wednesday President Rodrigo R. Duterte is open to end bloodshed but will "never allow" New People's Army (NPA) rebels to violate the peace talks.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this response when asked if the government is still open to peace talks despite Duterte's remarks about showing no mercy to the NPA rebels.
The President is always open to end bloodshed in this country. He doesn't want any killing among Filipinos but for as long as they violate the terms of the peace talks, then the President will not allow it to happen, Panelo said in a Palace media briefing.
In front of barangay leaders, Duterte expressed frustration over attacks carried out by NPA rebels in Sorsogon and Davao region despite the Communist Party of the Philippines' (CPP) declaration of a unilateral Christmas ceasefire.
Because of the violence enacted by the NPA, I don't think it's a good idea to push through with the peace talks, Duterte said in his speech during the Barangay Summit on Good Governance held in Davao City on Tuesday night.
Duterte believed the insurgency issue will not be addressed through talks because truthfully, they haven't really fully immersed themselves in the actual government system where they ought to do daily activities that would ensure their union with government.
A while later, in the middle of the night, they attacked Magallanes in Sorsogon and other attacks there. Here in the Davao region, the wife of a CAFGU (Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit) was their victim. How is that morally acceptable? he said.
Duterte said the NPA rebels do not deserve mercy because you are a cruel and brutal people.
Don't surrender anymore because if I see you again, I will shoot you. Wala nang surrender-surrender (No more surrender) because you are a cruel and brutal people, the President said.
I'll just finish you off. Why? If I don't do it, you go again around the community asking for money and killing them if we don't give. So, you are already in a continuous crime of rebellion 24 hours a day. Why do I need to have a warrant? By the fact that you are a rebel, you are a 24-hour violator of the Revised Penal Code of rebellion, he added.
Panelo said the CPP should have shown sincerity when they declared a Christmas truce.
If you're going to have a truce, you might as well show your sincerity by not doing anything contrary to what your intention is, he said.
Panelo said the Palace is still keeping its decision not to reciprocate a holiday truce declared by the CPP based on the recommendation of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Lorenzana reportedly said the CPP might use the holiday truce to strengthen its force in time for its 50th anniversary on December 26. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency