MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said that no peace talks will ever succeed – under any leadership – if rebel attacks against government forces and civilians continue.
In his pre-recorded address to the public, Duterte condemned the reported attack by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels on police officers in a food aid mission in Buenavista, Quezon province over the weekend.
“Hindi ko maintindihan itong – in a pandemic where everybody is in need of food and everything… Pati mga ganun na maliliit na bagay na hindi dapat gawin, kinakalkal pa rin nila ng away,” Duterte said.
“Hindi talaga tayo magkakaintindihan kailanman. No peace talks can ever succeed under me or under any other president if you do not stop attacking government forces and even civilian leaders,” he added.
Duterte, without citing evidence or any supporting data, said barangay captains are among the main targets of rebels.
“Sila ang favorite target especially itong mga barangay captains na pro-active in favor of the government. They are always the object of assassination,” Duterte said.
“Sige lang, tutal ang sundalo may mahuling isa o dalawa, then we would know what to do with you. What you can do I can do better 10 times over. Ang kanya ninyo, kaya kong gawin,” he added.
Government soldiers and Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) personnel aboard a military truck were providing security to local police that had conducted “barangayanihan” to Indigenous Peoples in Barangay Del Rosario in Buenavista town last Saturday. But upon reaching Barangay Batabat Sur around 11:40 a.m., suspected NPA rebels allegedly attacked them.
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