“ITO namang mga komunista, kaibigan kami,” President Rodrigo Duterte remarked Sunday evening as he asked the Reds to smoke the peace pipe with him.
Instead of engaging in a word war the Reds headed by Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison who previously branded him a “butangero” and a bully, Duterte reiterated that he is friends with the communist rebels because he and they are against those who oppress the people.
Speaking before members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and their families, the President said he offered to talk peace with every rebel group in the country so he could save lives.
Later in a different event, Duterte again indicated he had not given up on talking peace with the communists.
“Best way is to talk again.”
Duterte said, stressing that he is still interested in pursuing peace talks with the National Democratic Front despite his having revoked the ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army Saturday night.
“We are hoping that we can just talk. Maybe we did not understand each other,” Duterte said before administering the oath to new officials at Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace.
“Best way really is to talk again and maybe find out if it’s (peace) reachable or beyond our reach,” the President said.
“I hope we can proceed with the talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines,” the President said.
“Ito namang mga komunista, kaibigan kami. They are socialist but they are Communist Party of the Philippines. I am just socialist in my dimension kasi anak ako ng mahirap. I hate government and anyone oppressing the people,” he said at the PSG affair.
He cited as example the “tanim-bala” modus that targets poor Filipinos even as mayors, generals and Cabinet members can bring in “tons of jewels” without being stopped.
“That is the kind of government that eats into the core of our essence as a Filipino,” he said.
“I am trying to save lives. I hit the ground running and offered peace to everybody, to the communists, to the [Moro Islamic Liberation Front]...I cannot go into [that] with the Abu Sayyaf. Those are the enemies that have to be destroyed,” the President said.
“We are spending billions and I hate to, you know, sign a paper nung mayor ako to buy bullets just to kill a Filipino,” he said.
Instead of condemning the CPP for not immediately reciprocating the government’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire, Duterte stressed that he understands the communist rebellion because he comes from a poor background.
Earlier, Duterte revoked a ceasefire with rebels after the insurgents failed to reciprocate his declaration at the end of a 24-hour deadline last Saturday.
Meanwhile Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said: “Let’s wait and see. But so far, as of the moment, there is no supervening factor that will affect the upcoming talks in Oslo on August 20.”