President Duterte, who had earlier said communist rebels are fighting for an ”obsolete ideology,” said many NPA fronts have collapsed.
Interaksyon/File
NPA in its death throes — Duterte
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 27, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of communist movement, is not capable of overthrowing the government, according to President Duterte.

Duterte, who had earlier said communist rebels are fighting for an ”obsolete ideology,” said many NPA fronts have collapsed.

“Yung NPA naman patapos na talaga. It is in the throes of death. Wala na silang mga fronts. Nagbagsakan na,” the President said during the oathtaking of local officials at Malacañang on Tuesday.

Duterte said the number of NPA fronts in Eastern Mindanao, a known hotbed of NPA rebels, has dropped to two from 16. 

“You cannot hope... to bring down this government. It’s too late in the day to be talking about toppling (the government),” the President said. “There is no ideology anymore. It’s a lost cause.”

Duterte said he sent former rebels to China to see how the country has transformed. “When they returned here, they said sir, the buildings in China are high. I said... if you did not commit atrocities for years, our buildings would have been higher,” he said.

Duterte scrapped peace talks with the communists in 2017, citing the failure of the rebels to show their sincerity.

Last week, the President said he was unsure if peace talks would resume even as he called on the rebels to declare a ceasefire and stop extortion activities.

Meanwhile, in Quezon, the military recovered improvised explosive devices following an encounter with NPA rebels in Sitio Kulasi, Barangay Cag-siay 3, Mauban on Tuesday.

Personnel of the Alpha Company of the First Infantry Battalion clashed with the rebels led by a certain Ka Hammer. – Michelle Zoleta

NEW PEOPLE’S ARMY
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