DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte has doused all hopes that the stalled peace talks between the government and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) will resume as he said with finality he was no longer pursuing talks with communist insurgents.
“No more talks with the NPA,” the President said on Monday during the groundbreaking of the bulk water supply project of Aboitiz Equity Ventures and its partner firm in Barangay Gumalang, Baguio District here.
“I will go full scale, full scale [war] na tayo, I will tell the soldiers,” he added, days after top NDFP consultants canceled their trip to the country when they realized they would not be granted a direct audience with the President.
The President said in his speech that he would consider it his monumental failure if the communist insurgency and the Abu Sayyaf problem would not be solved during his term.
At the beginning of his speech, the President also hailed the anti-communist Manobo leader Datu Joel Onad, one of the paramilitary leaders in the hinterlands of this city.
“The earlier we finish the insurgency, the better for us all,” Duterte said. “Kailangan talaga, Joel, Datu Onad, tapusin na ang gierang ito. Tumulong na kayo,” he said.[That’s why, Joel, Datu Onad, we really need to finish the war. You need to help.]
Earlier, Lumad groups not only in Davao City but also in neighboring Davao del Norte had complained of being attacked in their communities not only by soldiers but also by paramilitary Lumad forces armed by the military. /atm
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