News Release

President Duterte announces termination of peace talks with communists

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the 122nd Founding Anniversary of the Philippine Army at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City on March 21, 2019. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

TAGUIG CITY — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, March 21, officially ended the dialogues between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

The President made the announcement during his speech at the Philippine Army’s 122nd Founding Anniversary rites.

“I am officially announcing the permanent termination of our talks between the Government Panel and the Communist Party of the Philippines,” President Duterte said.

“I’d like to announce that I am no longer entertaining any interventions or maybe persuasions in this democratic state of the Republic of the Philippines,” he added.

The Chief Executive also said that the CPP could talk to the next president, indicating that there would be no more discussions under his administration.

“Sinasabi ko naman sa komunista, hindi naman kayo ang marunong mag-distribute ng lupa. I have been at it actually ever since I became President,” he said.

The President also announced that during his remaining years as the head of state, he would finally put an end to the war against the Abu Sayyaf and illegal drugs.

“God willing, we’d be able…maybe just not really completely eradicate it but reduce the activities or the illegal trade and the fighting to the barest minimum,” President Duterte said.

Also, the Commander-in-Chief congratulated the uniformed men and women of the Philippine Army for their significant milestones.

“Your accomplishments in both internal security and civil-military operations in many parts of the country are a testament to your unwavering commitment to defend our institutions and our democratic way of life,” the President said.

President Duterte also commended the 550,000 successfully conducted operations of the Philippine Army that led to the recovery of almost 6,000 firearms, the neutralization of more than 600 enemies of the state, and the apprehension of more than 1,700 lawless elements.

“May these gains inspire you, our valiant soldiers, to never waver in your commitment to perform your duties. Intensify our focused military operations against communist terrorist groups so that, alongside our [civil-military] operations, we may persuade more of their members to surrender and return to the folds of the law,” President Duterte said.

The President also noted that it is imperative to engage stakeholders and communities in combatting insurgency and preventing the spread of extremist ideologies, as he believes that empowering indigenous peoples and others in this regard is the key to this fight.

He then reiterated the government’s unwavering commitment to improve the uniformed personnel’s capabilities through the Second Horizon of the Revised AFP Modernization Program and to continue to promote their welfare, as well as their families’ welfare, through housing programs.

“I assure you that we will continue to pursue these programs as an expression of the Filipino people’s appreciation for all that you have done for our country,” he said.

“Indeed, we are all truly indebted to you for risking life and limb for love of country,” he added.

President Duterte inaugurates Marawi Heroes Memorial Monument

Before gracing the 122nd anniversary celebration of the Philippine Army, President Duterte first spearheaded the inauguration and unveiling of the Marawi Heroes Memorial Monument at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.

The monument honors the 160 soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and eight personnel of the Philippine National Police who were killed during the battle in Marawi against the Maute terrorists.

The nine-meter monument is made of stainless steel and was designed and sculpted by Juan Sahid Imao, son of national artist and sculptor Abdulmari Asia Imao.

The Commander-in-Chief also led the wreath-laying after the unveiling and paid his respects to the memorial monument. He even kissed the memento to show his appreciation and compassion to the fallen heroes of the Marawi City siege.### PND