Peace talks with the communist rebels will not prevail if they would not stop the atrocities against troops and other people, President Duterte declared Monday.
The President issued the statement after denouncing the latest rebel attack on troops involved in a food aid mission in Quezon and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“They have only the condemnation of our people especially from me. Kaya hindi talaga tayo magkaintindihan kailanman (We really won’t understand each other),” Duterte said in a televised address Monday, June 7.
“No peace talks can ever succeed under me or under any other president if you do not stop attacking government forces and even civilian leaders ‘yung mga barangay captain,” he added, adding the troops and barangay captains have remained the “object of assassination” by the communist rebels.
Duterte mentioned reports that the New People’s Army rebels attacked the soldiers and policemen while they were on a mission to deliver food support in Buenavista, Quezon last weekend.He blasted the rebels for their “sheer brutality” when they committed another atrocity. He said rebels no longer have any ideology except wanting to “plunder” and “kill our soldiers.”
“The police and soldiers across the country have been distributing food aid and other needs and despite the sacrifice of the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the police, still they are the object of itong depredations, attack,” he said.
Duterte admitted that he could not understand why the rebels would attack food mission especially as the nation battles the pandemic and would need food and other aid.
“You are insensitive of the plight of people na kailangan ng pagkain pati tulong ng gobyerno (in need of food and other government aid),” he told the rebels.
Duterte maintained that the government has not been remiss in providing support to the people in need during the pandemic. He noted that billions worth of aid have been provided, citing the work of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The government terminated the peace talks with the communist rebel group in 2017 and designated the group as a terrorist organization. The talks bogged down after the President protested the rebel atrocities committed against troops and the lives and properties of innocent people.
Recently, he has directed the military to destroy the communist insurgents, authorizing them to shoot armed rebels on sight.