Duterte admits "surrendering" to Reds as talks useless
President Rodrigo Duterte said he was the one who "surrendered" to the communist rebels.
In a speech in Cagayan de Oro city Sunday night, Duterte said he gave up talking to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front because for about five decades of their struggle, nothing has happened in the peace process with them.
"(W)ith the NPAs, I am the one who surrendered. I said I will stop talking to them because it is really useless," he said.
Last week, Duterte dismantled the five-man government peace panel negotiating with the Maoist group.
"We have been talking for the last 30 years. And they have been trying to destroy the legitimate government since 53 years ago. We will never achieve anything out of it," Duterte said.
"It could be a dream that we still have hope. Fifty-three years would tell you that it amounts to nothing," he added.
Duterte said he ordered government forces to finish the communist insurgency in the country.
"So I told the soldiers and the police, 'Let’s finish this. It’s either we surrender or they do. It’s either they’ll defeat us or we’ll defeat them.' They want armed struggle. The world itself or the words --- the two words connotate violence," he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said the government would intensify its localized peace talks with the Reds. Celerina Monte/DMS