President Rodrigo Duterte, during the Joint Meeting of the National Task Force-Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Northern Mindanao (NTF-RTF-ELCAC X) on March 5, has appealed to communist rebels to surrender and offered them assistance for reintegration.
However, the President also warned those who will continue to try to overthrow the government. He said that he told the military and police that during encounter “if the enemy is holding a gun, kill them.”
“I understand the hardship. That’s why I said we’ll build houses, lots of houses. I have been building houses for you. What else? I also told TESDA to teach you skills and find a job such as a welder or what, find jobs for you,” President Duterte said. “I understand. So that’s why I’m spending money for those who understand what I’m saying. You don’t need to be taught in order to understand because you yourselves are capable of understanding. You know that what you’ve been doing, extorting from the poor and killing those who favor the government, is wrong.”
He also said that only the rebel leaders are the ones who are getting rich. “Where’s your hospital? Where’s your ambulance? Where’s your treasurer? He’s just the one who keeps the money to give to the leaders. The leaders are so wealthy,” Duterte said.
“So how do you intend to overthrow government? Do you think I’ll allow you to overthrow government? Ah… Well I rarely ever… That’s why I told the military and police that during encounters, if the enemy is holding a gun, kill them. Kill them right away. Ignore human rights. That is my order. I’ll be the one to go to jail. No problem,” he said.
“You communists should know what’s right. And what is the right thing to do? You don’t oppress your fellowmen, you don’t wage a war that you will never win. You are all bandits. You have no ideology. All communist countries, China and Russia, they are capitalists now,” he added.