Duterte to NDF: ‘I cannot give you what I do not own’


President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he decided to cut talks with the communist rebels as the group sounded like they wanted a “coalition government” with his administration.

FULL BATTLE GEAR President Rodrigo Duterte salutes members of the First Scout Ranger Regiment at Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan, a day after signing a proclamation ending peace talks with communist rebels. PHOTOS BY JOHN MICAH SEBASTIAN AND RUY L. MARTINEZ

Speaking before soldiers in Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan, the President stressed that he could not have a coalition government with the communist group, whose members he had branded as “terrorists” and “criminals.”

“As it was shaping up during our talks, I already noticed the trend of the thoughts of the other side and when I summed it all, reading from all previous working papers, it would sound like a coalition government,” Duterte said in a speech.

“That is why I said in the previous days, I cannot give you what I don’t own and certainly a coalition with the
Republic of the Philippines is pure nonsense,” he added.

Duterte on Thursday signed Proclamation No. 360 formally terminating peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF), following continued attacks by its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), on government troops.

On Wednesday, the President said he would tag all members of so-called “legal fronts” of the NPA as criminals and have them arrested for conspiracy.

In Friday’s speech, the President again ordered the arrest of communist leaders who were released from detention for the peace talks.

“I have ordered the release of about 30 to 40 communist leaders from Muntinlupa. Now, I will consider the movement of the Communist Party of the Philippines as a terrorist group. I am ordering those I have released temporarily to surrender…You have to go back to where you belong,” he said.


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