Rody mulls over amnesty for Reds
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte once again floated the idea of declaring a general amnesty to communist rebels, but only if they would surrender and give up their armed struggle against the government.
“For the rebels who simply wanted to topple [the] government, just go down [from the mountains] so there won’t be trouble,” Duterte said in a speech before Davao-based journalists over the weekend.
“There won’t be any harassment. I will not make you account for the people you’ve killed. If Congress will just agree with me, [maybe] I will just declare general amnesty,” Duterte said.
The President said that history suggests that armed struggle against the government will not succeed.
“You’ve been there for 50 years… but nothing has happened,” Duterte said in a mix of English and Filipino.
“What Sison wants, you will not get,” he said, referring to the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines [CPP], Jose Ma. Sison. “If you fight for 50 years, 100 years, you’ll get nothing from the government. Even the people don’t want the communists.”
Early this month, Duterte said that he is considering whether to accept the offer of communist rebels for an eventual resumption of the peace talks, but nevertheless said he could not accede to their demand that all political prisoners be released.
The CPP tagged the Duterte government as “anti-people, pro-imperialist, and fascist” for “embarking on efforts to undermine the very institutions that serve as a check on his executive powers,” including revived threats to declare martial law nationwide and impose a revolutionary government.
Duterte ended the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front in July following a series of attacks of its armed wing the New People’s Army against government forces.