Manila, Philippines — Vice President Sara Duterte has again spoken strongly against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed component New People’s Army (NPA) as well as its political wing the National Democratic Front (NDF) following the death of a soldier in Batangas.
In a video message posted on her official Facebook account Thursday night, Duterte described the CPP, NPA and NDF as “traitor,” “deceiving,” and “violent” enemies who wreak havoc in communities.
“We wholeheartedly recognize and honor the bravery, heroism and service of Sgt. Jernell Ramillano,” Duterte said in Filipino
“Sgt. Ramillano was just one of the many victims of the heinous activities of the terrorists CPP, NPA and NDF. His family is now among the thousands of families who lost their loved ones (because of the CPP, NPA and NDF),” she added.
In a statement, the Civil Relations Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said Ramillano died in a gunfight with NPA rebels in Balayan, Batangas on Dec. 17. Three soldiers were wounded.
Duterte recalled that a soldier, 1st Lt. Jaren Relota, was also killed by the NPA in Davao City during her term as mayor in 2018. Duterte said she cannot forget the question posed to her by Relota’s mother: “Inday Sara, how many more of our children have to die because of the terrorist NPA?”
“Many more [soldiers] like Sgt. Ramillano and 1st Lt. Relota will lose their lives if we will just ignore the traitors, deceiving, violent enemies CPP, NPA and NDF. Many of our young people will not be able to finish their studies if we will allow these groups to turn them into armed terrorists,” Duterte said in Filipino.
She also reiterated her earlier statement that the CPP, NPA and NDF are not after genuine peace but to weaken the government and its institutions.
“My countrymen, I want you to know that the only goal of the CPP, NPA and NDF is to destroy the foundation of our democracy, tear down the institutions of the government and drag us to poverty, chaos and injustices,” Duterte said in Filipino.
Duterte’s stronger rhetoric against the CPP, NPA and NDF came amid the earlier decision of President Marcos to resume the peace talks with the NDF.
Just last month, Marcos also issued at least four proclamations granting amnesty to former members of CPP-NPA-NDF, Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro National Liberation Front and other revolutionary groups who have committed crimes punishable under the Revised Penal Code and Special Penal laws “in furtherance of their political beliefs.”
Duterte had previously voiced her objection against Marcos’ plan to resume the peace negotiations with the NDF, describing the planned move as “an agreement with the devil.”
“They will use these negotiations to betray and deceive the people,” she said in an earlier statement.
This was the second time that Duterte contradicted Marcos. She earlier issued a statement disagreeing with the Palace’s move to study the possibility of rejoining the International Criminal Court, which is currently investigating her father, Rodrigo Duterte in connection with his bloody war on drugs during his presidency.