Duterte to order arrest of communists, legal fronts

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FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija: President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday that he would order the arrest, not only of communist rebels, but of all “legal fronts” aiding the Left.

Speaking before government troops here, Duterte said the leftist groups should be treated as outlaws since they were helping to topple the government.

“I will no longer recognize them as an entity negotiating with the government. I will simply declare you all terrorists. Terorista kayo. At yung mga legal front ninyo, alam ko, huwag na lang tayong magbolahan galing ako diyan.”

(You’re terrorists and even your legal fronts are terrorists, I know. Let’s not fool each other, I’ve been there),” the President said.

“You are helping each other, conspiring to topple or whatever to sow terror. We will treat you as a criminal. Period. And we will arrest everybody connected, maski yung  (eve their) legal fronts,” he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, the government announced that it was cancelling the peace talks with the communist rebels following the President’s directive.

Duterte said he was no longer inclined to resume peace talks with the communists rebels whom he branded as “terrorists” and “criminals.”

The President halted talks with the rebels in July following a series of attacks by the communist group’s armed wing, the New People’s Army, against government forces. He said he would not resume the talks unless the rebels stopped their extortion activities.

The fifth round of talks brokered by Norway was suspended on May 27 after the government panel withdrew from the negotiating table in response to the communist group’s order to guerrillas to intensify attacks against security forces.

In an interview with government-run PTV network in September, the President said the resumption of the talks would just be a waste of money.

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