GUIHULNGAN CITY, Negros Oriental—President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, July 27, said he would ask Congress to pass a national security code and at the same time warned communist rebels to stop their extortion activities.
“I am going to ask Congress to pass a national security code. Ang natatakot lang naman diyan ‘yung kalaban ng gobyerno,” the President said during the media interview here following a visit to policemen who were killed by the NPA.
Irked by the continued collection of revolutionary tax by the New People’s Army, the President said he is directing the Armed Forces and the police not to use the word “revolutionary tax,” saying that it is clearly extortion.
“That is not a proper word for us to adopt. Kasi ang gobyerno na ito, may taxation. So, huwag ninyong tapatan ng revolutionary tax,” Duterte said.
“Use the word “extortion,” “hold-upper,” or “kidnapper,” the President added, warning he will file cases against them based on the Revised Penal Code.
The President was in Guihulngan City to condole with the the families of the six policemen slain in an ambush by the members of the NPA in this city last July 21.
“So, I came here to share the sorrow of the families of the policemen, to show solidarity sa mga sundalo, na pati ako nasasaktan, nandito ako, I make it public, and to criticize the Communist Party of the Philippines,” Duterte said.
He then urged the NPA members to surrender to their barangay captains and be given decent jobs.
“Your barangay captain will accompany you to any of the police, military. Bigyan ko kayo ng trabaho. Ako automatic, I will — gawain kitang sundalo,” he said.
Asked by reporters if he will add more forces in Negros as a result of the increasing NPA attacks, the President said the situation is still manageable even without additional forces.
He, however, said there is a need to improve security and he is open to hearing suggestions from the ground to save lives.###PND