MANILA – Don’t just fight, but destroy communist rebels, President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Saturday told the military as he reiterated his refusal to subscribe to their five-day holiday ceasefire declaration.
“We do not subscribe to their ceasefire, we are ready for anything. Change your paradigm, do not fight them, destroy them. Destroy them, kill them,” Duterte said in a speech at Camp General Manuel Yan Sr. in Compostela Valley.
Duterte said eliminating all members of the New People’s Army was the only way to achieve law and order in the country.
“Law and order, means you have to destroy, not really fight, but destroy the Communist Party of the Philippines, including its legal fronts and infrastructure,” Duterte said.
“Unless we are able to destroy every one of them, ang ating mga anak o apo ninyo ganun pa rin ang haharapin (our children and grandchildren will face the same problems),” he said.
Duterte also asked the soldiers to remain committed to their sworn duty to protect Filipinos, noting that he never doubted their capabilities to keep the nation safe from all threats.
Meanwhile, the President also called on communist rebels anew to abandon their extremist activities and return to the fold of law.
“[Discard] the outmoded ideology that has led you astray and reintegrate into society, so you can lead more dignified lives,” Duterte said.
In an earlier speech, Duterte said NPA rebels do not deserve mercy because they are “cruel and brutal people” and would rather have the military finish them off.
“Don’t surrender anymore because if I see you again, I will shoot you. Wala nang surrender-surrender (No more surrender) because you are a cruel and brutal people,” Duterte said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said communist rebels should show sincerity when they declare a Christmas truce insisting that Palace is firm on its decision not to reciprocate the holiday truce.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Communist Party of the Philippines could use the holiday truce to strengthen its force in time for its 50th anniversary on December 26. (PNA /