In his first state of the nation address or SONA, President Rodrigo Duterte emphasized that he wants to have “permanent and lasting peace” before the end of his term in 2022. He wanted to stop decades of fighting with rebels that he even declared a unilateral ceasefire and asked the rebels to do the same. Sad to say, this might not be the case anymore.
On Wednesday, a Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) was killed while 4 other people were wounded in an ambush in Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte. It is said that the ambush was done by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.
President Duterte, angered upon hearing about the ambush, called Labor Secretary and chairman of the negotiating panel of the government Silvestre Bello III on Thursday. He told Bello to demand an explanation from the Communist Part of the Philippines (CPP). If there will be no explanation from the group, President Duterte threatens that he will lift the unilateral ceasefire.
In his speech at Camp General Nakar in Lucena City, Quezon on Thursday, President Duterte said:
“Sabi ko, ‘Ano ba ito, are we in into this truce or are we not?’ Sabi ko sa kanila, Give me an answer tonight because kapag tomorrow, wala, tatanggalin ko, balik tayo sa away,”
“If you do not honor or you kill a single soldier or a CAFGU, which is also a soldier of the Republic, eh sabi ko kalimutan na natin ito. Fight na lang. I am demanding an explanation from the Communist Party of the Philippines.”
President Rodrigo Duterte also said that:
“Kung nagkasala kami rito, we punish our men and women sa serbisyo. Expect the same and I demand an answer na kung sino ang nagkasala, they must also put under disciplinary action. Otherwise, wala tayong pinag-usapan. That is my deal.”
Watch the Full Speech of President Duterte in Camp Guillermo Nakar, Lucena City.