Duterte warns of ''mass arrest'' of communist leaders
President Rodrigo Duterte warned on Wednesday "mass arrest" of the communist leaders who are temporarily out of jail after he formally declared the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army as a terrorist organization.
"And for those who are out temporarily, you just, maybe zero in now, because any day I will order for their mass arrest," Duterte said in Malacanang during the mass oath taking of the newly-promoted officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
He reiterated that the leftist rebels are now considered as ordinary criminals.
"And so if they ambush you, that’s murder, multiple. If they use an explosive, use of explosive is always murder. Then it’s no bail for everybody," he said.
He said it was Maoist-inspired rebels who forced him to consider them terrorists.
He noted that the military and police were not really supportive of his decision before in allowing the detained communist leaders, such as couple Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, to be released.
"You know, I released almost about 32, ...the Tiamzon spouses. They are the ideologues of the Communist Party. They are also old. And I can understand why they are insisting in the resumption of the talks," he said.
Duterte terminated the peace talks with the rebels due to atrocities they continue to commit.
"Well, you might be ready now (for the peace talks), not before. The problem is I don't like it anymore because I said --- Not to win a thing, I concede to your brilliance or whatever, you are the ideologues. But then the simple matter is really a sovereignty is owned by the Filipino people and nobody else," he stressed.
According to Duterte, as he read the documents of the leftist group, he realized that what they really want was a coalition government, which he could not allow.
"So --- and one day, I will have just have you arrested. You want to fight the country, create a revolution? Fine. We have been fighting you for 50 years and we will fight again for another 50 years. That is what you want," he said.
He added, "I’ll just have to prepare the country for such eventuality."
"If you come at by violent resistance, you place in danger the lives of people and the soldiers and the police, we will answer the appropriate action. That is my message to the Communist Party of the Philippines," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS