NUEVA ECIJA -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, November 22, bared his plan to order the arrest of all individuals sympathetic to the communist insurgents.
Duterte made the revelation before the members of the Army's Special Operations Command here at Camp Fort Magsaysay, on the same day that the government peace panel announced the termination of peace talks with the rebels.
The Commander-in-Chief accused the communists' "legal fronts" of conniving with the rebel group to undermine the government.
"Your legal fronts, -- I know, do not fool me -- you are helping each other, conspiring to topple or whatever (my administration)," Duterte said in his speech, apparently addressing the communist rebels.
"We will treat you as a criminal. Period. And we will arrest everybody connected (to you), including legal fronts. File a case, launch a revolution, do what you want, I don't care," he added.
On Tuesday, the President also warned that he will shut down operations of mining firms that are remitting revolutionary taxes to the rebels.
Duterte's statement also came after Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Jesus Dureza announced earlier in the day that the government peace panel would no longer pursue peace talks with the communists on the President's order.
Dureza said the government would not resume the peace negotiations unless an "environment conducive to a change in the government's position becomes evident."
The Chief Executive maintained his stance that he would now treat communists as terrorists, and that he would order the state forces to launch a war.
"Why would I talk to you? Every time there's a ceasefire, you kill my soldiers and policemen. So it's going to be a war," he said.
"I will no longer recognize them as an entity negotiating with the government. I will simply declare you all terrorists. You are all terrorists," Duterte added. (SunStar Philippines)