MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday threatened to have five New People’s Army (NPA) rebels killed for every soldier killed by the communist guerrillas.
Duterte was reacting to an earlier statement by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison that the NPA is still capable of launching attacks that could kill one government soldier a day and force the government to return to the negotiation table.
The President was unfazed by the threat, saying he could match each soldier death with the lives of 5 NPA rebels.
“He said, ‘go kill one soldier a day.’ Does he think I cannot do it too?…To the military, you kill five NPA rebels for every soldier killed,” Duterte said in Bisaya.
Duterte issued the statement in front of former communist rebels whom he treated to a meal in Malacañang.
In his speech, Duterte also minced no words against Sison, his former political science professor who introduced him to socialism.
The President said Sison dreams of running the Philippines.
“These egotists! He wants to replace me. There’s no question about that… I don’t know if he’s a Filipino. He looks Taiwanese,” Duterte said.
Sison, in a statement posted on Sunday, said the Philippine government, “with or without Duterte as president… will decide to negotiate peace when the people’s war can inflict larger casualties on enemy troops.”
“The NPA in 17 regions has actually the capacity of knocking out at least one AFP soldier every day per region. That eliminates at least 510 enemy troops or some 5 companies every month nationwide,” he said.
“That translates to the elimination of some 60 companies or 20 basic battalions every year. The NPA has the advantage of having a just cause and enjoying the support of the people and being able to launch ambushes and raids by surprise.”
Duterte in November last year terminated peace talks with the National Democratic Front amid the NPA’s attacks against government troops despite the ongoing peace talks.
He also labelled the CPP-NPA as a terror organization.