Duterte orders military to "destroy" Communists
President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday ordered the military to "destroy" the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which earlier declared a five-day ceasefire.
The CPP announced a ceasefire from Dec. 24-26 and Dec 31 to Jan. 1. But Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the government would not reciprocate the Communists' truce.
The CPP will mark its 50th anniversary on December 26.
"We do not subscribe to their ceasefire. Do not fight them, destroy them. Just destroy them. Who gave the order? I did," Duterte said in front of the 10th Infantry Division (10ID) at Camp General Manuel T. Yan Sr. in Mawab, Compostella Valley.
"Law and order means we have to destroy, not really fight, but destroy the Communist Party of the Philippines, including its legal fronts and infrastructure," he added.
Duterte told the military he will "assume full responsibility" if there will be cases of human rights violations filed against him. He said he is willing to go to the prison if proven guilty.
"Destroy them...I assume full responsibility. I'm the only one that is being sued," he said.
"The presidency is a gift from God. My gift to you, Filipinos, my freedom. If I'm found guilty, I will admit all of it and go to prison. It will be an honor to go to prison for the Philippines," he added.
In his speech, Duterte explained that 60 days will be enough for a planned hamletting.
"We will go back to a sort of a 'hamletting.' That idea was intended for them that while we are talking, they are there hamletting. We will feed them., I will pay for the billeting of their leaders while we're talking," he said. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS