MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday took another swipe at communist rebels and their exiled leader Joma Sison, saying they are like robots following a "bankrupt ideology".
Duterte urged communist rebels to surrender and return to the fold of the law, saying what they are fighting for is no longer relevant.
“Mabuti pa itong mga police pati sundalo ‘pag agrabyado, nagsasabi pa, ‘Mr. President, hindi pwede ‘yan.’ Eh kayo parang robot. It’s all what? 50 years? Well, everybody dies,” Duterte said in a speech in Sta. Ana, Cagayan, a province considered to be one of the strongholds of the communist movement.
(It’s good that when the policemen and soldiers are aggrieved, they say ‘Mr. President, that cannot happen.’ How about you? You are like robots. It’s all what? 50 years? Well, everybody dies.)
The future of the government’s peace talks with the communist National Democratic Front now appears bleak as the Palace has opted to hold localized negotiations with rebels on the ground.
The Communist Party of the Philippines has rejected this mode, saying the military will only come up with “fake” rebel returnees and pocket funds intended for the local peace talks.
The NDF, for its part, views the government’s plan to hold localized peace talks as an attempt to isolate exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison.
More than a month after the scheduled resumption of the peace talks was cancelled, Duterte said “I don’t know what will happen to the talks.”
He instead home and livelihood for rebels who would turn themselves in.
“Revolution is to revolutionize, to develop, it ain’t really the way. It has to be evolution, dahan-dahan ‘yan (slowly). You allow government to work in this area, establish economic centers, make it productive, make it safe, make the buildings, the structures fire-free. No attacks, no killing,” Duterte said.
“And you have not been able to realize even on a scale of one to 10, hanggang one point one lang kayo hanggang ngayon (You can only reach one point). And yet you insist in fighting government.”