News Release

President Duterte shuts door for ceasefire with communist rebels

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on December 7, 2020. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

There will be no ceasefire with the communist rebels this holiday season or “ever again” under his term, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Monday.

“There will be no more ceasefire ever again under my term ko pagka-presidente. For all intents and purposes, ‘yung ceasefire is dead. Wala na yon,” President Duterte said in his weekly address to the nation.

Both sides “cannot understand each other” and the rebels demanded for a coalition government, the President said, prompting him to walk away from the peace negotiations.

Forging a power-sharing agreement with the communists is an impeachable offense, the Chief Executive said, stressing the powers given to him under the law are only to be executed unless they can be delegated. He said he cannot compromise anything in this government.

“What was evolving before me was something that it is not acceptable to the Republic of the Philippines, lalo na ‘yang coalition government. No president, no stupid president will allow it,” he said.

Leftist groups are committing serious violations under the law, he said, vowing to unmask those connected with the National Democratic Front (NDF) particularly its legal fronts before the end of his term.

“These are serious offenses under the Revised Penal Code and your organization, simply communists all of you, the act of one is the act of all,” he added.

Earlier this month, the President claimed that several lawmakers are affiliated with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and co-conspirators of the communist rebels in overthrowing the government.

The Duterte government initially showed intention to forge a lasting peace deal with the rebels aimed at ending decades-long communist insurgency in the country.

But the rebels’ continuous attacks on police and military personnel and other facilities drew the ire of the President, who eventually decided to suspend the peace talks.

The government and the communists
usually decide for a holiday truce.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), however, said it did not recommend to the President for a holiday truce with the guerrillas, pointing out the rebels’ inability to obey the deal. PND