President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday, Dec. 6, said that he will soon order the mass arrest of the communist rebels.
“For those who are out temporarily out, you just maybe zero in now, because any day, I will order for their mass arrest,” Mr. Duterte said during his speech before newly-appointed generals and flag officers.
Mr. Duterte made the remarks a day after he declared the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as an identified terrorist organization.
“Wala akong magawa eh. Ginusto ninyo. I’m addressing them to the TV, ginusto ninyo eh. I gave too much too soon. (You left me with no choice. You asked for it. I’m addressing [the communists] on TV: you asked for it)… You know, I released almost about 32 [political prisoners],” he added.
Mr. Duterte also made mention of NDF consultants Benito and Wilma Tiamzon who were freed by authorities upon the order of the chief executive to participate in the peace talks.
On Nov. 23, Mr. Duterte has signed Proclamation 360 terminating the peace negotiations between the government and the CPP-NDF-NPA.
Following the termination of talks, Mr. Duterte has warned communist leaders who have been released from jail in 2016 to surrender to the government or face “punitive actions”.
“I have ordered release of about 30, 40 communist leaders from Muntinlupa. Now, I will consider the movement of the Communist Party of the Philippines as a terrorist group. I am ordering those I have released temporarily to surrender or face again punitive actions,” he said during a Nov. 24 speech in Bulacan.
“You have to go back where you belong. I released you because I thought it might help you. Eh kung hindi makatulong then you are undercutting me before the eyes of the Filipino people, you must be joking. You must be joking because I will go after you and I do not really care whatever happens thereafter,” he added.