Duterte mulling to declare CPP-NPA as terrorist organization
President Rodrigo Duterte said he will issue a proclamation declaring the Communist Party of the Philippine-New People's Army as a terrorist organization due to the rebels' "continued depredations and killing of innocent civilians."
In a press conference in Davao City on Saturday, Duterte said he was not also "anymore inclined" in continuing peace talks with the communist rebels since the group has been calling him corrupt and fascist official.
"Now, if I'm corrupt, if I'm fascist, if I'm a killer and I'm DDS (Davao Death Squad), why talk to me? Go find somebody else," he said.
"I'll be issuing a proclamation. I will remove them from the category of a legit entity or at least a semi-movement which would merit our attention, placing them (same as) in America, (in) terrorist (list)," Duterte said.
The United States Department of State has placed the CPP-NPA in the list of foreign terrorist organizations since 2002.
Duterte said the government will also file cases against the Maoist rebels for criminal acts.
"So beginning from now, no more rebellion because rebellion is just a light offense. It can be bailable except for the leader. We will file (acts of) terrorism, murder, everything. Arson with murder. Because I would consider them criminals already," he said.
Duterte said the government would also go after the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), a left-leaning organization, for allegedly conspiring with the leftist rebels.
"Now it's a great conspiracy between this Bayan-- they are in conspiracy with the rebellion going on," he added.
Duterte said he is now tired with the communist group pretending to be speaking for the Filipino people while making it also hard for them to make a living.
The leftist rebels have been engaged in extortion activities, which they call as "revolutionary tax."
"We will consider them terrorists. Ordinary brigands and no more about principles there. You are not fighting for any principle," Duterte said, citing an ambush incident allegedly perpetrated by the rebels in Bukidnon where a four-month old infant died.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Sunday expressed support on the President's statement, calling the communist rebels as terrorists.
"On the matter concerning the NPA. Government has done its part and negotiated with sincerity. We totally agree with the Commander-in-Chief in calling the NPAs terrorists because it is clearly reflected in the numerous criminal/lawless/terrorist acts that they have been committing against defenseless and innocent civilians," AFP spokesperson Major General Restituto Padilla said in a statement.
The peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front, political wing of the CPP-NPA, have been stalled since early this year due to the atrocities committed by the rebels against the government troopers and the civilian population. Ella Dionisio/DMS