Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte called on the armed wing of Communist Party of the Philippines the New People’s Army to put an end to their armed struggle against the government and prepare for a peaceful life under his Presidency. “It is time to end the fighting. Come down from the mountains, come home and let’s talk,” Duterte said as quoted by the mayor’s supporter, former North Cotabato Governor Manny Piñol.
Mayor Duterte was speaking before an audience during the founding anniversary of Santa Cruz town in Davao del Sur. Duterte, in jest, asked the audience if there are communist rebels present.
“Those who are NPAs raise your hands. Come on, don’t be shy. I know there’s a lot of you here,” the mayor said. “Come down from the mountains. You don’t own the mountains. You have no right to prevent people from going up those hills.”
Piñol further wrote that Duterte told the crowd that he was working on the release of a new group of government men who were abducted and held hostage by the NPAs. “What do you get by holding those people hostage? We have to end this,” he said.
“Filipinos cannot continue on killing each other. This has to stop,” the Davao City Mayor said. In previous speeches, Duterte said he will bring different armed groups in round table to settle differences and end armed conflict. However, the mayor is yet to announce his presidential candidacy.
The Commission on Elections sets October 12 to 16 for filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) of individuals aspiring for national and local posts.