President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday advised Philippine communist rebels to shun hate first before his government decides whether to go back to the negotiating table.
Speaking to reporters in Cagayan de Oro, Duterte again brought up the communist rebels’ killing earlier this month of several soldiers even though the government and the communist party’s respective unilateral ceasefires were still in effect.
“Ceasefire dito, ceasefire doon? Ang sundalo ko puro patay. At yung sundalo na binaril ng NPA [New People's Army] 73 times, iyun ang hindi ko talaga nagustuhan. How can you do that to a Filipino? That indicates hatred. Pagka ganoon sila, we are full of hate, then we cannot talk about peace,” Duterte said.
(You have a ceasefire yet my soldiers were killed. I have a soldier who was shot by an NPA rebel 73 times. I was really displeased with that. How can you do that to a Filipino? That indicates hatred. If they act that way, full of hate, then we cannot talk about peace.)
“Mayroong sa loob mo, may hate ka. How can it be possible na mag-usap tayo nang ganoon ang sa puso mo?”
(There is anger in your heart, there is hate. How will it be possible for us to talk if you have hate in your heart?)
Duterte earlier this month terminated the government’s peace talks with the communist rebels following clashes between government troops and communist fighters.
Duterte had also slammed the communist party’s demand that the government release the more than 400 remaining "political prisoners."
After terminating the peace talks with the communists, Duterte called them terrorists. The president also ordered the arrest of National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants temporarily freed for the peace talks.
Leftist leaders have since been calling on the government to resume talks, citing the gains achieved during the negotiations.