With less than two years in office, President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday took a firm stance that he will not be defeated by the communist movement.
Duterte made the statement during the joint meeting of national and regional task forces to end local communist armed conflict (ELCAC) in Cagayan de Oro, as he lamented that communist insurgents continue to commit criminal offenses, such as extortion, arson, rape, and murder.
“Is that really the life that you want? Now, for those of you who were able to fully comprehend what I said, you should understand that I won’t be defeated,” he said in the local dialect.
The communist rebels’ ceaseless attacks against government troops and civilians have prompted Duterte to sign on Nov. 23, 2017 Proclamation 360, which formally scrapped the peace negotiations with the communist group’s political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF).
The termination of the peace talks was followed by the Dec. 5, 2017 signing of Proclamation 274, classifying the communist movement’s armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), as a terror organization.
On Dec. 10, 2018, Duterte signed Executive Order 70, directing the National Task Force ELCAC to provide an efficient mechanism and structure for the implementation of the government’s whole-of-nation approach in ending insurgency and attaining inclusive and lasting peace.
In his latest speech, the President said he would stop the communists’ plan to topple his administration.
He reiterated his order to the military and the police to neutralize communist rebels.“So how do you intend to overthrow the government? Do you think I’ll allow the government to be defeated? Well, I rarely ever… That’s why I told the military and police that during encounters, if the enemy is holding a gun, kill them. Kill them right away. Tell the human rights that it’s my order. I’ll be the one to go to jail. No problem,” he sad in the local dialect. SOVEREIGNPH