A new wave of bloodbath looms if the communist rebels refuse to surrender and instead continue to kill government forces.
President Duterte has warned the government troops would shoot dead armed communist insurgents after expressing dismay with their atrocities.
The local armed communist struggle already failed and only resulted in casualties among government troops and rebel fighters, the President lamented.
“Wala naman kayong nakuha ni isang barangay (You have not obtained a single barangay). You have not been successful in all your ideological confrontations. Ang naiwan sa inyo magpatay ng tao lang (What’s left with you is just killing people) For what? Iyan lang? (That’s it?),” Duterte said during a televised address Monday, August 2.
“You know, it’s a two-way affair. Magpatay kayo pero papatayin rin kayo talaga ng sundalo ko. Ganoon ‘yan eh. Kung sino lang. Mabu — may burol ka sa gubat, may burol kami dito sa mga kampo. Parang paramihan lang tayo ng patay dito (You kill but my soldiers will also kill you. That’s how it goes. If there’s a funeral in the jungle, we also have a funeral in the camps. It’s like we have a contest on which side gets to kill the most number),” he said.
The President promised anew to give shelter and livelihood to rebels who will surrender to the government so they can reintegrate with society. He said the rebels should “drop the armed struggle,” saying nothing will happen if they continue since their leaders have grown old.
“Komunista, you want to live a normal life? Drop the guns. I’ll give you the house and I’ll give you the money to start,” he said.
“Wala talagang mangyari, sabi ko sa inyo (Nothing will happen, I tell you). Wala na ‘yung mga lider ninyo, puro matatanda na (Your leaders are old). Wala na, wala ng… Their brains are no longer not as good as noon siguro. Ngayon, wala eh it’s almost — it’s gone, period,” he added.
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26, the President took pride of the government’s strides in fighting the local armed conflict, saying the group’s end was imminent. Among the accomplishments were the dismantling of several communist fronts as well as the surrender of more than 17,000 rebels to the government.
“With the support of our local government units, I am confident that support for the communist movement will continue to erode in the next few months,” the President said. “And like the decades-old Moro rebellion in Mindanao, we will also bring an end to the armed struggle of the communists once and for all,” he added.
The government terminated the peace negotiations with the local communist group in 2017 over its atrocities against troops and civilians. Recently, Duterte ordered government forces to shoot dead any armed communist rebel on sight.