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Duterte blames derailed PH growth on Reds

PRESIDENT  Duterte attends thedistribution of benefits to former rebels  at the San Isidro Central School in Leyte. At left is Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista. (Presidential photo)

PRESIDENT Duterte attends the distribution of benefits to former rebels at the San Isidro Central School in Leyte. At left is Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista. (Presidential photo)

The country could have enjoyed progress a long time ago if the communist rebels had not waged an armed conflict against the government, President Duterte said last Thursday.

The President blamed the communist rebellion for derailing the nation’s growth during his visit to Leyte, insisting that fighting should stop for the sake of their children.

“Seriously, I’m not joking. Our nation could have prospered a long time ago had it not been for you New People’s Army. If only you were working for the progress of our nation,” he said during the distribution of benefits to former rebels in San Isidro.

“What you want is change, but you want to achieve that through armed struggle. So who are the ones preventing Philippines from progressing?” he said.

Mounting an armed rebellion would not force the government to cower in fear and surrender, Duterte pointed out.

“Just because you’re carrying guns doesn’t mean the government should just cower down and give you everything you’re asking for. That’s not right. Not everything you’re asking from the government would bring peace to our communities. That’s the truth,” he said.

And even if the communist insurgency wins, Duterte expressed doubt the rebel leaders could govern the country.

“You want to be a governor and you want to be a congressman. When you get there, your speaker doesn’t know anything. If you suddenly won tomorrow, what will you do in Manila? Who will fly those planes? The pilots won’t agree to fly the planes if it’s you they’re carrying,” he said.

“And so you’re going to have an NPA fly it. And you will all die. So where exactly is this path leading us?” he added.

Duterte told the rebels that the country’s problems can be solved by “evolution,” and not by armed revolution that only leads to killings.

“You NPAs, we can’t solve the problem in the Philippines by revolution. It has to be evolution. It’s going to develop on its own,” he said. “We can’t solve problems with revolution. We will just end up killing each other,” he added. (Genalyn Kabiling)

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