Duterte loses patience with rebel peace talks
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday that peace talks with rebels are to cease, saying the government is just wasting money in negotiating with them.
In a speech, Duterte said: “I believe you, Mr. Sison, We stop talking. We’re wasting our time. ... Let us renew the fighting for another 50 years. It’s what you want ...”
Duterte was referring to Jose Ma. Sison, the exiled founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
“Let us stop talking. I’m tired. It’s a great expense to send people there for nothing. Let’s start fighting, stop talking,” the president said.
It came a day after he threatened on Thursday to launch an offensive against the rebels after the ongoing war to liberate Marawi City from extremists is over.
“There is a resurgence of attacks. They (the communist rebels) owe us a lot. I no longer want to talk to them. They have killed many of my police and soldiers,” Duterte said.
“Once the war in Marawi is finished off, we will reorient and go after the NPA (New People’s Army).”
Duterte’s spokesman, Ernesto Abella, said on Friday that
It’s a great expense to send people there for nothing. Let’s start fighting, stop talking.” Rodrigo Duterte, Philippine president
peace talks with the rebels are on hold until an “enabling environment is achieved”.
The Duterte administration is apparently angered by the recent rebel attacks against government security forces.
Last week, rebels attacked Duterte’s security men in Arakan, which resulted in the killing of a militiaman and wounding of five guards.
The Communist Party of the Philippines and its NPA guerrillas have been fighting the government since 1969. The NPA concentrates its attacks in rural areas.
Previous attempts to forge a peace pact with the communist rebels have failed.
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