DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has warned the New People's Army (NPA) may launch retaliatory attacks following the death of top NPA leader Leoncio Pitao, also known as Ka Parago.

"I am telling the Army to prepare. Actually, everybody [should prepare] kasi we do not know what is in their mind now. Parago was my friend, but I do not know who will take over," Duterte told the media.

Though the military assured of peace and security, Duterte said psychologically, Parago's death is a big loss to the communist rebels, adding that he is not only a leader but also a father to them.

"No need for red alert. I supposed the government is ready. The military can take care of the peace and security. Just be prepared," Duterte said.

Duterte, a long-time friend of Parago, described the latter as a warrior.

"He was a friend. I used to visit him during the release of POWs (prisoners of war) nila. I had connection with them and I don't deny that, I denied that I am with the leftist, but hanggang doon lang ang relasyon ko sa kanya," Duterte said.

"The fact that he was fighting the government which is sad, there is always a time to die. Probably, yesterday (Sunday) was his time," he added.

The mayor also said it's very important for everybody to treat the enemy of the government with respect, especially to those who have been fighting for a cause.

"Ang pinag-awayan naman natin dito is the principles of the ideology. We do not hate our enemies here. You have to treat him as a warrior," Duterte said.

He also vowed to provide necessary assistance, such as burial assistance and other related matter to Parago’s family.

"Alam mo kasi may philosophy in life pag ang tao down na, patay na, you cannot fight anymore. Wala na sa akin yan. I would like to tell you, and that the Army must understand that, that I am treating this matter a human being," he said. (ICT)