STA. CRUZ, Davao del Sur, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has asked communist rebels to end the fighting and prepare for a peaceful life under his Presidency.
“It is time to end the fighting,” he said in a speech at the 131st anniversary of this town, considered one of the last bastions of communist insurgency in the country, on Monday. “Come down from the mountains, come home and let’s talk,” Duterte said, as he asked the crowd who among them were members of the New People’s Army.
“Those who are NPAs raise your hands. Come on, don’t be shy,” he said, as the crowd gamely put their hands up.
Duterte said the 46-year-old communist insurgency should end and that it would be among his priorities “should God put me there (the Presidency).”
He expressed desire to find a common solution to the communist insurgency and the Moro rebellion by inviting their leaders to talks.
“Filipinos cannot continue on killing each other. This has to stop,” he said.
“I have to invite (Jose Maria) Sison to come home. I also asked Murad (Ebrahim) and (Ghadzali) Jaafar, why are we fighting here? Let’s fight Manila (instead),” Duterte said.
Ebrahim is chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front while Jaafar is the group’s political affairs chief.
The feisty mayor hinted thrice that he might run for president already but stopped short of an actual declaration. Duterte also said his government would “be an all-inclusive government.”
On Sunday, Duterte publicly admitted during his TV program that he has been having second thoughts about running.
“I am having second thoughts, I might as well run to stop the pressure,” he said.
Duterte said many people – including businessmen – had told him not to worry about money as they would fund his campaign.
He said he would make an announcement, possibly before the filing of the certificates of candidacy on October 16. SFM
By: Eldie Aguirre, Germelina Lacorte and Judy Quiros, October 6th, 2015 08:16 PM