MANILA - After saying earlier this month that he was ready to resume negotiations with communist rebels, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he was again closing his doors to continuing the peace talks.
Speaking to soldiers in Jolo, Sulu, the site of a deadly bombing that left 21 people dead and at least 80 injured, Duterte said he feels that pursuing negotiations with the communists would be futile, citing how rebels continued attacks on state troops when talks were ongoing.
“Ganun rin sa NPA (New People's Army). Hindi na ako makipag-usap sa inyo. Eh walang magawa eh. Magpakabuti ka, pasunod-sunuran ka lang, istorya ganun. You practically begged na… “’Adre mag-istorya lang tayo. Wala tayong mag…” Duterte said.
(And also with the NPA. I will not talk to you anymore. There's nothing we can do. You try to be straight, follow, there's a story. You practically begged na... We'll just make a story... We won't...)
“Tapos in return ito ang ibigay ninyo sa akin. Mga kabaong pati iyong mga naputol mga paa. Ay p***** i**. Hindi ako… ‘Di na bale ako makulong pagkatapos nito. Akin lahat ‘yan, akin lahat."
(And then in return, you will give me this. Coffins, dismembered legs. Son of a b***h. Not me... Doesn't matter if I land in jail after this. It's all mine, all mine.)
Government troops have pursued offensives against communist rebels across the country since the suspension of talks.
In November 2017, Duterte issued Proclamation No. 360 formally ending the government’s peace talks with the communists.
Another resumption was scheduled in late June last year but it was cancelled as the government sought to review all agreements the communists signed with past administrations.
In December last year, Duterte signed Executive Order No. 70 directing the creation of a national task force to “end local communist armed conflict.”