PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday revealed his plan to sign a "proclamation" that will brand the communist insurgents as "terrorists."
Duterte made the pronouncement on the sidelines of the launching of TienDa Farmers and Fisherfolks Outlets at the Asian Food Market in Abreeza Mall, Davao City.
Reiterating his stance that there would be no more talks with the communists, Duterte said the Philippine government would now consider them as "criminals."
Duterte had plenty to gripe about the communist rebels' alleged hostile acts, which include killing of innocent civilians.
"Before, we recognized them as rebels. But with their continued predations and killing innocent people and even an infant, a four months old, I will be issuing a proclamation, I will remove them from the category of a legal entity or at least a semi-movement, which would merit our attention, placing them as terrorists, which is same with America," Duterte said.
"Beginning from now, there is no rebellion because rebellion is a life offense. It can be bailable except for the leaders. We would consider them criminals already," he added.
Duterte, who scrapped the fifth round of peace dialogue between the government and the communist leaders in May, has repeatedly claimed that the communist group was conniving with the opposition group Liberal Party to undermine him and eventually remove him from office.
Duterte, who earlier backpedaled his statement about not negotiating with the communists, decried the communists' demeaning labeling of him as "corrupt, fascist, and killer" leader of the Philippines.
He then said that he would no longer push through with the peace talks and told the communist insurgents to "find somebody else" in coming up with a peace pact.
"No, I am not anymore inclined to [talk to them]. You know, they have a propaganda and even on the streets, there's a lot of streamers there and placards saying that I am a fascist, that I'm involved with graft and corruption, that I have P2 billion worth of ill-gotten wealth," he said.
"If that's your belief, why relay it with me? What's the point of talking to me if I am a corrupt official, if I have amassed wealth?... Now that I'm corrupt, fascist, killer, [front-runner of] DDS (Davao Death Squad), why talk to me? Go find somebody else," he added. (SunStar Philippines)