By Ralph Villanueva/Manila Times
President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday reiterated that he was not open to reviving peace talks with communist rebels, calling their leader “cocky.”
In a speech during his meeting with the Filipino community in Papua New Guinea, Duterte said Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), had more bark than bite.
He said Sison talked big but he did not even own an airplane, or even a kite.
Duterte even suggested the idea of bombing the communist insurgents but pitied the civilians who would be affected.
He told Sison to “reduce your size to the proper dimension” and “come to his senses.”
Duterte, who called himself a “Leftist” in the past, terminated the peace talks between the government and the communist rebels last November 23, after signing Proclamation 360.
Almost two weeks after, Duterte also signed Proclamation 374, which declared the NPA and CPP as terrorist groups.
Sison and Duterte have since been locked in a word war, with the communist leader boasting that he can kill a soldier a day until the government revived the peace talks.
Duterte countered that he would kill five NPA rebels for every soldier killed.
During 24th Cabinet meeting last April, however, Duterte said that he would want to give the communists “another last chance” for the peace talks.
The resumption was supposed to take place last June 28 in Oslo, Norway. However, Duterte pulled out, citing public consultations and the review of existing agreements.
Duterte later said he would not want the peace talks to be done overseas, which incurred the ire of Sison, who said that the president was not serious in pursuing peace talks.
Duterte then announced that the peace talks would be localised. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also proposed the creation of a task force to put down the communist insurgency in the country.
Last month, however, Duterte ordered the military to neutralise NPA members.
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