MANILA- Ousting President Rodrigo Duterte will be the "principal work" of communist rebels this 2019, its leader Jose Maria Sison said Wednesday.
In a Facebook post, Sison said that while the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) remains open to peace negotiations with the government, the panel's efforts are now geared towards Duterte's removal.
"The National Democratic Front of the Philippines will further strengthen itself as the most consolidated realization of the national united front but will be able to cooperate with all possible allies in the broad united front in order to isolate and oust the Duterte regime from power," Sison said in a Facebook post.
"The NDFP is authorized to be open to peace negotiations with the current and prospective regime of the reactionary government but its principal work now is to work for the ouster of the Duterte regime," he added.
The military in October last year, floated an alleged plot of communist rebels to overthrow the government dubbed as "Red October," only to claim later that the plan had fizzled out.
Ties between Sison and Duterte soured last year after the President accused communist rebels of continuing their attacks against government troops despite the ongoing peace talks.
In November 2018, Duterte formally ended the government's peace talks with the communists and ordered the military to "destroy" the CPP a month later.
In his post, Sison, who has been in exile in the Netherlands for more than 30 years, alleged that Duterte was "not interested in serious peace negotiations" and is after the "impossible" surrender of rebels.
"What he wants is the impossible, which is the surrender of the revolutionary movement of the people," Sison said.
Following the collapse of peace negotiations, the government instead pursued localized talks with rebels.
Over 8,000 rebels have surrendered since the government pursued localized peace negotiations with the communist movement, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a recent speech.