DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte urged members of the New People's Army (NPA) to come down the mountains and talk peace with government, if he becomes president.
Attending the founding anniversary of Sta. Cruz town in Davao del Sur Monday afternoon, Duterte said that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison, under which the NPA and the National Democratic Front operate, promised to return to the Philippines if ever he wins in the 2016 presidential election.
He said he wants all rebels to come down and talk peace.
Duterte's statement was welcomed by the more than 3,000 people of Sta. Cruz who listened to him Monday.
Sta. Cruz, one of the oldest towns in the Davao Region where only a few families own vast coconut plantations, is known as a hotbed of the NPA.
Duterte said that the 46-year-old communist insurgency has to end and he hopes to achieve that soon.
He declared in the past that should he become president of the Philippines, he would bring together the different armed groups to the peace table and find a common ground to end the conflict. (Sun.Star Davao)