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Duterte asks Reds to stop fighting

BY: Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

President Duterte yesterday asked communist rebels in Mindanao to stop engaging government forces until the crisis in Marawi City is over.

In a speech during the 50th founding anniversary of Davao del Norte in Tagum City, Duterte said he wants to talk to the communists as he understands what they are fighting for.

“I can understand you that is why I have not declared any overt action against you. I want to talk to you because I know na ang inyo was just a rising nationalism,” Duterte said.

He appealed to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front’s to temporarily stop fighting in Mindanao.

Duterte noted a declaration from the CPP to the NPA intensify its operations against government forces which they retracted later on.

“Can you just stop fighting for a while? Kasi ang sabi ng mga leader niyo sa Europe, there will be a ceasefire,” he said.

“Una sabi ng leader niyo, you are to engage government forces tapos they realized now, at this very late day, na wala kayong makukuha dyan sa terorista,” he added.

Duterte said that he would be willing to talk to the communists but warned them against giving him a double-face.

He said that he will go hard on them if they fire at government forces patrolling in Mindanao. “We used to talk, we were friends. But that during the time when I was mayor. I was not then burdened with the responsibility of running this country,” Duterte said.

“Eh, ngayon iba na ang sitwasyon. Kaya ‘pag kinalaban mo ‘yung pulis ko, binaril mo ‘yung sundalo, magkalaban talaga tayo,” he warned.