MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte urged the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), to allow the government to operate amid the pandemic and calamities.
"I am directing this [message] to the Communist Party of the Philippines. This time of our national life, we are having a serious problem. If you cannot cooperate, if you cannot help, then, maybe you can stand aside and allow the government to operate," Duterte told the CPP-NPA during his prerecorded Talk to the People aired Thursday night.
This, after Duterte received reports that the NPA terrorists continue to extort the people's cash assistance from the government
"Kasi yung ayuda ng gobyerno, balita ko lang pinupuntahan ninyo (I heard that you are going after the assistance from the government)," Duterte said. "That's stupid, tulong yan sa kapwa tao, maghingi lang kayo maski PHP500. Okay na iyan, huwag niyo na kunin ang lahat ng pera ng tao (that's assistance for the people, you can ask them PHP500. That's fine, but don't take all their money)."
Duterte offered the communist groups to partake in the government's program for the sake of the people on the ground.
"I assure you if you give us an advance notice that you are going down to participate in these people who are offering their services. Tutal magbayad man ako. Magtulong kayo. Tapos pagkatapos niyan (Since I will pay you. You will help. After that) I can also guarantee that you can go back to your unit and fight another day," he said.
The President said he will "graciously" welcome the communist groups who will help the government and even offered them a visit to Malacañang for a coffee treat.
"Pero kung pababain ko kayo kasi magtulong kayo, eh okay masyado. Pagkatapos niyan magkape pa tayo dito sa aking opisina so that makita ninyo yung palasyo ng tao (But if you will go down because you will help, that's much better. And then let's have a coffee here in my office so that you can see the Palace of the people," he said.
Duterte noted the communist terrorist groups have "considerably" reduced in number as the military and police forces have successfully dismantled their guerilla fronts.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)