Duterte to NPA: Don't attack energy, communication facilities
MANILA, Philippines – At an inauguration of a new power plant, President Rodrigo Duterte asked New People's Army rebels not to damage energy and communication facilities.
"Ang style kasi ng NPA, pag hindi niyo naibigay, sunugin. Hoy. Makinig kayo ha. Huwag ninyong pakialaman ‘yung sa tao," said Duterte on Friday, December 9, in Valencia City, Bukidnon.
(The style of the NPA is, if you don't pay revolutionary tax, they burn property. You listen. Don't interfere with what's for the people.)
He was there to lead the groundbreaking of the 10.6-megawatt Pulanai hydroelectric powerplant.
"Energy, communications, everything, lay off, lay off," he added.
The Philippine military and NPA are currently upholding unilateral ceasefires as the government and the communist-led National Democratic Front pursue peace talks.
Duterte repeated his call for both sides to sign a deal establishing an indefinite bilateral ceasefire. This is the condition he laid down for the release of over 100 political detainees.
"You’re asking or demanding the release of 120 political prisoners. I denied it. I declined to do it because I have given so much too soon. Sabi ko sa kanila (I told them), produce to me a document which is that you have agreed to an indefinite ceasefire," said Duterte.
He asked the communists not to put time restrictions in the ceasefire deal because he expects the peace talks to take a while. "Do not put the term there, huwag kang magbigay ng (don't put a) timeline because this will be a long and winding road sa negotiation."
The NDF has demanded the release of 432 political prisoners by January.
The government hopes to sign a bilateral ceasefire deal on Saturday, December 10. – Rappler.com