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Rody to Reds: Kindly stop the killings

President Rpdrigo Duterte, in his speech Sunday night at the MassKara Festival celebration here, said the government and communist rebels have been fighting and killing for 50 years. AP/Aaron Favila, File

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines —While he may be ready again for talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), President Duterte told the rebels to “kindly stop” the killings first.

Duterte, in his speech Sunday night at the MassKara Festival celebration here, said the government and communist rebels have been fighting and killing for 50 years.

“Are we going to fight again for another 50 years?” he asked.

Peace talks between the government and CPP-NPA have been suspended following a series of military offensives by the rebels, including the ambush and killing of six policemen who responded to a distress call in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental two months ago.

“Ano ba talaga gusto ninyo (What do you really want)? You want to fight your fellow Filipinos for another 50 years?” he asked, noting that some members of the CPP-NPA have not seen their families for ages, or died not seeing them.

Duterte added that innocent people should be spared from the rebels’ operations.

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Responding to accusations of being involved in extrajudicial killings, Duterte replied, “What about you?”

“You (CPP-NPA) have been killing people left and right, even soldiers returning to their homes or are outside military camps. That’s extrajudicial killings,” Duterte stressed.

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