Duterte tells Reds: 'No more talk, let's fight'

THE government security forces are ready to engage the communist rebels in a battle, as the government peace panel would no longer continue the peace talks, President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday.

During the Davao Investment Forum held in Davao City, the President declared an all-out war against the communist group, saying he was worn-out following the group's demands.

Duterte said the government is wasting time negotiating with the communists' political wing National Democratic Front (NDF), since their armed wing New People's Army (NPA) are bound to kill his men whose primary duty is to just protect and serve the country.

He said attacking the security forces was an "act of cowardice."

"The NDF branded me as a bully. Correct, You are right, 100 percent. I bully people who try to topple the government and all the enemies of the state. That is my job to bully you and to kill you because there is a war going between us and you. And you are killing my soldiers and my policemen so I bully you," the Chief Executive said in his speech.

"Let us stop talking. I'm tired. It’s a great expense to be sending people there for nothing so I might as just well lose the money. Whatever. Let’s start fighting, stop talking,” he added.

His statement came a day after he announced that he would no longer resume the fifth round of talks between the government peace panel and the NDF consultants.

Duterte was forced to scrap the peace dialogue after the NPA attacked Wednesday the members of the Presidential Security Group in North Cotabato, injuring at least four of his security aides.

The NPA offensives came amid the declaration of martial rule in Mindanao, which is aimed at quelling the rebellion in the south.

On Thursday, CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison slammed the government and said it was unnecessary to proceed with the peace negotiations because Duterte is “obsessed with the martial rule and mass murder.”

“There is really no need for [government and] NDF’s peace negotiations, if the Duterte regime is obsessed with martial rule and mass murder as the way to solve social, economic and political problems and to frighten in vain the revolutionary forces and people to surrender and give up their revolutionary struggle for national and social liberation,” Sison said in a statement.

In his speech, Duterte agreed with Sison that the peace talks between the two parties were uncalled for, saying that it was “silly” for the communist group to threaten the government.

He then challenged the communists to just fight the government “for another 50 years.”

“Talking during an event like martial law would render the talks unnecessary. I believe you, Mr. Sison, you are right [that] we stop talking or wasting our time. This war that you are fighting – I was listening to you when I was student – that was 50 years ago. Let us renew the fighting for another 50 years because this is what you want," the Chief Executive said.

"Let the Filipinos sacrifice. Most of your armed men are farmers. And the Lumads and the indigenous people, let them die. Me, I have armed forces, navy and the police. I can fight for another 50 years. Let us agree on that and let us be ferocious on each other. No quarters given, no quarters asked. That is how it should be," he added.

Earlier in the day, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said the government was still optimistic that both parties would reach the "right time" for the resumption of talks.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the peace negotiations would not resume unless the enabling environment needed for the talks is present. (SunStar Philippines)
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