Duterte threatens to order arrest of Left's ‘legal fronts’

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 22 2017 09:16 PM

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday again slammed the Left, threatening to arrest members of its “legal fronts” as its peace talks with the government collapsed.

“Terorista kayo pati iyung mga legal fronts ninyo. Huwag na tayo magbolahan,” Duterte said in his speech in front of soldiers in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.

"We will treat you as a criminal, period. We will arrest everybody connected and ang mga legal fronts nila.”

Duterte has been lashing out at left-leaning groups, saying in a speech on Tuesday that they “are in cahoots, in conspiracy with the armed NPAs (New People’s Army).”

The President issued the threat following the collapse of peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic of the Philippines (NDFP).

Prior to the termination of talks, Duterte announced he would soon have the NPA declared as a terrorist group. The communist party's armed wing has long been under the United States' list of terrorist organizations. 

Duterte, a former student of Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison, had sought to end the nearly 50-year communist insurgency early in his term. 

Government officials and NDFP negotiators had 4 rounds of talks in Europe, where Sison is based, before Duterte suspended the negotiations in May.

The talks were stalled following armed clashes between government troops and communist guerrillas.