MANILA -- Warning of “a little trouble” in the coming months, President Rodrigo Duterte urged the military to end communist insurgency stressing the government could not afford to pass it on to the next generation of Filipinos.
“I’m serving notice to everybody that in the coming months, it will be -- not really bloody, but there will be at least, a little trouble for our country,” Duterte said during the 31st anniversary celebration of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) main office in Quezon City on Tuesday night.
“So I am telling the military, ‘Can we end it now?’ We cannot afford to pass it on to the next generation. Baka hindi na nila makaya (They might not be able to handle it). It has to be now,” he added.
Duterte also hinted at imposing “very radical change” in the government but did not elaborate what these were.
“Revolution is no longer a vogue. You cannot win a fight for social justice or for a better life in your country if you go to revolution. It won’t work. Hindi nga kayo makahawak ni isang barangay (You can’t even occupy one village). And in the coming days, there will be a very, very radical change in the behavior of government,” Duterte said.
“You know, I am not challenging. You might win or you may lose, but that is something to be seen,” he added.
For him, Duterte thinks the government could no longer afford to wage a war against communist rebels for another 50 years.
“We do not have that hatred in our heart. Ang akin lang (But for me), it’s about time that you stop this revolution. If you want changes, it has to be through evolution. Dahan-dahan lang (We should do it slowly),” Duterte said.
The President also emphasized that the country would never prosper if social ills such as communist insurgency, criminality, and corruption are not curbed.
“I will not stay forever in this world, but these are two things which you must remember. If we cannot have law and order in this country and if we cannot stop corruption in government, there can be no -- never will we rise to the next step as a nation,” Duterte said.
Aside from communist insurgency and corruption, Duterte also stressed the need to put a stop to illegal drugs in the country.
“We have to finish it pati droga (even drugs). And this will make us a magnet for all criticisms that are -- they’re waiting us -- waiting for us to do and commit a wrong,” Duterte said.
Last March, Duterte officially announced the permanent termination of the peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in preference for localized peace engagements.
He has also repeatedly urged communist rebels to “choose a better fight in life”, assuring that the government will provide them with livelihood assistance as long as they laid down their arms.
Earlier, Duterte issued Executive Order 70 directing the creation of a national task force to end local communist armed conflict, as well as the adoption of a national peace framework that will contain policies addressing the root causes of insurgencies.
He also designated Cabinet secretaries as Cabinet Officers for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) “to help ending regional and local communists.” (PNA)