MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he is no longer keen on declaring a Christmas truce with the New People’s Army, as he plans to formally declare the group a terrorist organization soon.
Duterte said the killing of a 4-month-old girl after being hit by a stray bullet in an NPA ambush in Talakag town, Bukidnon earlier this month seemed to be last straw for him when it comes to dealing with the communist rebels.
“Ayaw ko na makipag-usap specially the last, iyon in-ambush nila iyong pulis pati iyong bata, the 4-month-old while being [held] sa kamay ng nanay, tinamaan,” Duterte told reporters in a chance interview.
“Kung ganun kayo, tapos mag-giyera tayo, pati iyong mga civilian idadamay natin. ‘Di ‘wag na tayong mag-usap.”
Duterte added that his decision to terminate the talks with the communist rebels is final. He said he would ask officials to craft a proclamation ending the peace talks and categorizing the NPA as terrorists.
“It’s not an entity anymore worth talking to,” he said.
Peace negotiations broke down earlier this year following a string of attacks against state troops allegedly committed by the NPA.