AS PART of his heightened crackdown on insurgency, President Rodrigo Duterte is bent on offering a P25,000-reward for every communist rebel killed, a Palace official said Friday, February 16.

Communications Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin Andanar said the President is determined to quell rebellion by stepping up the fight against members of the communists' armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA).

"On the counter-insurgency, the President is serious on everything he says in a bid to flush out the New People's Army," he said in a television interview.

Duterte, in a speech delivered during his visit to Cebu on February 12, said he is willing to pay P25,000 to anyone who could kill an NPA insurgent.

READ: Duterte offers kill bounty for rebels to save on war costs

The President's offer was raised from the previous P20,000 he dangled to the indigenous people for each communist guerilla they kill.

"They (communists) said, 'Kill one soldier a day.' Me? Kill one NPA today and I will pay you P25,000," Duterte said during his meeting with local chief executives from the Visayas and Mindanao held at Raddison Blu Hotel in Cebu City.

Duterte's remark was in response to the perceived threat of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison to kill one soldier a day.

Unfazed by Sison's warning, the firebrand President on February 7 gave the military the green light to kill five NPA insurgents for every government soldier killed.

The acrid ties between the government and the communists stemmed from the NPA's persistent attacks against the state forces while the two parties were conducting talks for the crafting of a peace pact.

Last year, Duterte signed two proclamations that formally scrapped the peace negotiations with the communist group and branded CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization. (SunStar Philippines)