Duterte announced that communist New People’s Army rebels would be the next target of military operations after authorities address the ongoing conflict with terrorist groups in Marawi.
“After this, damn this war, once we finish off the [terrorists], we will reorient and go after the [New People’s Army] because they owe us a lot. I don’t want to talk to them anymore,” said Duterte.
The president ordered a stop to ongoing peace talks with the rebels following attacks launched by communist guerrillas against government forces.
Two soldiers were killed and five others, including four of Duterte’s security escorts, were wounded in recent attacks launched by the rebels in the provinces of Palawan and North Cotabato.
It is not the first time that Duterte has halted peace negotiations with the communists. In February, he also stopped the talks after the rebels announced they are lifting a unilateral ceasefire.