Leaders of the local communist rebel group have earned “billions” from the extortion of businesses including the “malls” in Manila, President Duterte said Friday.
In his visit to Cagayan de Oro City, the President said the rebel taxation has become so widespread in the country that “everyone pays.” He claimed that some local businesses have no choice but to pay the group, or otherwise risk the possibility that the rebels would make good their threats to bomb their establishments.
“The communists, listen to me. When your leaders order you to extort money for taxation, you do it and then give the money to your leaders. Their extortion is spread throughout the entire country,” he said in the Visayan dialect.
“Anak ka ng p***** i**, everyone pays. The malls even in Manila, they have to pay. Because if they don’t, they’ll use bombs. So they have no choice, they have to pay,” he said.
Communist leaders were becoming rich while rebels were left to commit atrocities and die, according to the President. “Your leaders have billions now. They give you salary when you extort, when you burn tractors, they pay you. Is that really the life that you want?” he asked the rebels.
Duterte, who has vowed a relentless campaign against the armed rebels, denounced the group for “destroying” families and properties for the past five decades. “Those investors who ventured into business in far-flung areas, you burn their equipment if they don’t pay taxes, you even kill the people. What the…? I don’t understand you,” he said.
The President traveled to Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental to attend the joint meeting of the National Task Force-Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. The assembly, attended by several Cabinet members and local officials, was held at Northern Mindanao University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines gymnasium.