• Duterte: NPA next target after Marawi conflict

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    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has said the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), would be the government’s next target after the state forces have crushed the Islamic State-inspired terrorists in Marawi City.

    Duterte issued the warning while saying that he no longer wanted to talk to the communist rebels, following a series of attacks against government forces.

    “Huwag kayong masyadong magpakumpiyansa diyan kasi there is a strong resurgence… Nabubuhay na naman ang mga NPA. Pagkatapos nito, leche itong putukan… Pagkatapos nito, maubos ang mga u*** diyan, mag-reorient tayo, NPA na naman,” the President said in his speech during his visit to a military camp in Marawi City on Thursday.

    (Don’t be too confident there because there is a strong resurgence…The NPA is coming back again. After this (Marawi siege], we will re-orient and target the NPA.)

    “Marami silang utang sa atin. Ayoko nang makipag-usap sa kanila. Marami na akong sundalong pinatay nila. Marami na akong pulis na pinatay nila,” he added.

    (They owe us a huge debt. I don’t want to talk with them anymore. They have killed too many of my policemen and soldiers)

    The government cancelled back-channel efforts aimed at reviving formal talks after five members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) were wounded in an encounter with NPA rebels in Arakan, North Cotabato province, on Wednesday morning.

    READ: Cafgu dead, 5 Duterte security men wounded in NPA ambush in North Cotabato

    The NPA also attacked twice in Palawan province this week, killing two Marines and wounding another soldier.

    READ: 2 Marines killed in Palawan ambush

    Solicitor General Jose Calida also ordered government lawyers to invalidate the temporary liberty granted by various courts to the consultants of the rebel peace negotiators.

    READ: Govt lawyer seeks rearrest of ‘Reds’

    Duterte approved back-channel negotiations the night before the Arakan encounter.

    The fifth round of talks between the government peace panel and the NDF consultants was initially set from May 27 to June 1 but was cancelled.

    Chief government peace negotiator Silvestre Bello 3rd, later on, announced that the talks would resume in August.

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