CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/ 05 February) — President Rodrigo Duterte said he will no longer consider the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and National Democratic Front (NDF) as a rebel organization but a terrorist group.
He told reporters after visiting the wake of three soldiers slain in an ambush by the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the CPP, that Jose Ma. Sison, his political science professor in college and chief consultant of the NDF peace panel “has been categorized as a terrorist, therefore, to me, the organization that he heads and controls is also a terrorist group.”
“I do not look upon the communist party, NDF, CPP as a rebel organization anymore,” he said.
The CPP-NPA remains on the US State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs). It was designated an FTO in August 2002. (see other story)
Duterte explained he categorized the entire organization as terrorist “because of what they did.”
“They announced publicly that they were lifting the ceasefire order February 10 but they were killing my soldiers and policemen in the meantime,” the President said.
Hours after NPA spokesperson Jorge Madlos announced they were terminating the unilateral ceasefire effective 11:59 p.m. on February 10, four soldiers were killed — three in Malaybalay City and a junior officer belonging to the Philippine Military Academy Class of 2015, in Manay, Davao Oriental.
In the field of battle, Duterte said, “there is always honor,” but what the NPA did to the three soldiers slain in Malaybalay City who sustained multiple gunshot wounds is not honorable.
“Saan ba ang honor mo diyan? And ang problema, you know, army-to-army, so sana may respeto. Why do you kill a government soldier 73 times? Anong kaputahan ‘yang put—na yan? Why do you do that? Ano ang sundalo aso? Eh ‘di wala ka man lang respeto na kalaban mo in the field of battle, there is always honor,” Duterte said.
Asked if he was considering declaring all out war against them, Duterte said there would be a “law enforcement (operations)” against them. He said they are “considered terrorists and are legitimate (targets).” (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)