MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said there will be no more ceasefire between the government and communist rebels until the end of his term.
Duterte, in his weekly address to the nation, said the ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), has long been dead.
"There will be no ceasefire ever again under my term, term ko sa pagkapresidente. For all intents and purposes, 'yung ceasefire is dead. Wala na 'yun, matagal na 'yun," he said.
(There will be no ceasefire ever again under my term, my term as president. For all intents and purposes, the ceasefire is dead. It's long gone.)
Duterte said ceasefire with the rebels died along with the peace talks.
"When I walked away from the talks because we cannot understand each other. Maybe we were talking in different dialects, I don't know why, but I simply cannot understand the way it was being carried by the other side, the way it was being played. What was evolving before me was something that was not acceptable to the Republic of the Philippines, lalo na 'yang (especially that) coalition government," he said.
"No stupid president will allow it. He will get impeached. You will get impeached. You are not supposed to share that power," Duterte added.
According to Duterte, he will never give the rebels what they want.
"I cannot compromise anything in this government. It's either I will be impeached or the military and the police will shoot me. Ipapasubo mo ang Republic of the Philippines, papatayin ka talaga. Because you are a traitor of your country," he said.
(I cannot compromise anything in this government. It's either I will be impeached or the military and the police will shoot me. I cannot put the republic at risk, I'll surely get killed. Because you are a traitor of your country.)
He also reiterated that he considers the members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives, as well as other progressive groups, as communists.
"For all intents and purposes, the ceasefire is dead. And the peace talks between the NDF, the NPA, pati kayong lahat (all of you), I am identifying you because I have seen the record. You are really communists," Duterte said.
Last week, Duterte said his administration is not red-baiting progressive lawmakers, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines is directly identifying them as communists.
The Philippine government and the CPP-NPA-NDF traditionally agreed on a holiday ceasefire.
The AFP, however, earlier said it will not recommend a holiday truce for 2020, citing previous ceasefire violations by the rebels.
Earlier this year, government and the CPP declared a ceasefire to make way for the country's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CPP had extended its truce by 15 days. Both sides said the other launched attacks during the ceasefire.
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