Montevista, Compostela Valley—Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte declared that the decades-long war against the communists rebel in the country will end if he’ll become the President.
“If I will become the President, certainly this war will end,” Duterte said during Sunday’s release of two captive soldiers in Montevista, Compostela Valley.
Duterte said he will form a “coalition government” with the Communist Party of the Philippines to end the war in the hinterlands.
“I will form a coalition government with them [CPP]. I will accept their top officials if I’ll become the President. We just need to agree on some issues. I will take control of the AFP-PNP to avoid chaos as we are working on how to address the problem and find the appropriate solution,” said Duterte.
Duterte made this statement after he received Corporal Benjamin Samano and Private First Class Alvin Ricarte, both belonging to the army’s 60th Infantry Battalion who were held in captivity for nineteen days by the New People’s Army Guerrilla Front 33.
Duterte said the peace talks between the National Democratic Front and the government was left “idle” and has caused a toll to both warring parties.
“I am always calling for the resumption of the peace talks because it has been long overdue and until now it remained idle but the issue of conflict remains,” said Duterte.
Duterte criticized the government for merely doing a “lip service” on the stalled peace talks between the NDFP and GPH, saying:”I will raise this issue to the higher authorities. Until now the government is doing lip service because no concrete actions have been done.”
Duterte added: “I will criticize the government of why until now the issue of communist insurgency has not yet been resolved. I won’t promise but If ever I will be the President, this war will end. I will make way so that this problem will be resolved. We will go for a coalition.”
According to Duterte working with the communists will be easy for him.
“I don’t have problems with the New People’s Army and the communists as we easily agree on one another. That’s why I won’t wage war against them because I share the communist views on land reform issues and change of the government’s political system.”
“I told the military and the police that my primary duty as a Mayor is to look after the welfare of my people,” stressed Duterte, adding that “the NPA is complying the provisions of Geneva Convention and other law instruments in handling prisoners of war.”—Mart D. Sambalud/davaotoday.com