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Military told: Tit-for-tat vs rebels

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he would implement a “severe measure” amid the spate of killings in Negros Oriental and ordered the military to give the communist rebels “what they deserve.”

READ: Negros violence: Ex-mayor, three village execs killed

“I will give you tit for tat, that’s what I told the military. Give them what they deserve,” Duterte said.

Duterte blamed the New People’s Army for the killings in the provinces, the latest of which is the torture and murder of four policemen in Negros.

“You are killing everybody there. Everyone that is anti-communist or does not want communism, you kill,” he said during the Mindanao-wide awarding of land certificates in Davao City. 

“I served the notice the other day I will not take it sitting down. I’ve been telling you, I will implement a more severe measure. What is it? Just wait,” he said.

Duterte did not elaborate on the “severe measure” he was referring to, but in his speech Thursday night during the 28th anniversary of the Bureau of Fire Protection, he also said he would do “something drastic” in the days to come.

The Philippine National Police said the communist rebels were behind the murder of four policemen in Ayungon town in Negros, who were shot in the head and hogtied.

Duterte has previously offered P5 million for the capture of the perpetrators, dead or alive.

“I’d like to say to the communists, you have crossed the red line. The countryside is infested with parasites like you,” he said.

“You’ve done enough. And in some areas, you are too many and I short of policemen and soldiers. But you cannot do it unrestrained, unbridled, uncontrolled as if you are the killing machine of the Filipino,” he added.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo earlier said the President might declare martial law in Negros Oriental over the killings in the province.

The President acknowledged that some areas in the country remained unprotected from the atrocities of the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. 

Most remote communities, he said, still lacked the presence of government forces.

Despite this, the President said the NPA still had no reason to kill “unrestrained, unbridled, uncontrolled, as if you are the killing machine of the Filipino.”

When he was mayor in Davao City for 23 years, the President said there was never a time when the military allowed torture or hurt NPA surrenderers, even those who were captured.

“Maybe we wanted revenge. But since we are in the government and we have morals to prop us up... otherwise we are no different from the barbarians like them,” he said, referring to the communist insurgents.

Duterte blamed the NPA for hindering developments in the countryside, which he said was “infested with parasites like you. You do not work, you exact taxation.”

“These communists, they’re blaming (the) government for the killings when actually you started the spate of murders there,” he said, adding the rebels even killed teachers and school principals.

Duterte also accused the leftist human rights group Karapatan of being an NPA front actively working with the rebels to undermine the government.

He branded the ideology that propels the communist rebellion in the country as rotten and corrupt and likened the NPA to the Islamic State.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. With PNA

READ: Negros police chief relieved from his post

READ: SAF 300 deploy for Negros action

Topics: Rodrigo Duterte , Negros Oriental , killings , New People’s Army , Bureau of Fire Protection
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