Duterte warns communist rebels to follow rules or risk arrest

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 22) — President Rodrigo Duterte said he will have members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its legal fronts arrested.

This warning comes following the cancellation of all planned meetings with the CPP-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) after the President reiterated yesterday that he is no longer interested in peace talks with the reds.

READ: Gov't cancels all planned peace talks with communist rebels

The President earlier revealed plans to issue a proclamation that would declare the CPP-NDF-New People's Army (CPP-NDF-NPA) a terrorist organization.

READ: Duterte to declare NPA as terrorist group

Speaking before members of the Special Operations Command of the Philippine Army at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija Wednesday, the President lashed out at the NPA for its continous attacks against the military and the police.

He said, "Terorista kayo at yung mga legal fronts ninyo...Alam ko, wag na lang tayo maglokohan. Galing ako diyan eh. You are helping each other, conspiring to topple or whatever to sow terror. We will treat you as a criminal. Period. And we will arrest everybody connected. Pati yung mga legal fronts nila. Magdemanda na kayo. Magrebolusyon kayo. O anong gawin ninyo. Wala akong pakialam."

[Translation: You and your legal fronts are terrorists...I know, let's not fool around here. I am from that. You are helping each other, conspiring to topple or whatever, to sow terror. We will treat you as a criminal. period. And we will arrest everybody connected. Even their legal fronts. You can sue. Revolt. You can do whatever. I don't care.]

Duterte reiterated they can do whatever they wanted as long as rules are followed.

"Magdemonstrate kayo...Wag kayo mag-istorbo ng kapwa tao mo. Bayaan ko kayo. Once you mess up, then I will call the soldiers and police to do their duty," he said.

[Translation: You can hold demonstrations...Do not disturb others. I will let you be. Once you mess up, then I will call the soldiers and police to do their duty.]

Just today, he said six or seven soldiers were killed by armed men.

He told the soldiers to take extra care when dealing with the NPA and stressed they should always be armed because the NPA attacks soldiers even when they are unarmed and or in civilian clothes.

While in Fort Magsaysay, the Commander-in-Chief conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu and awarded the Gold Cross medal to about 30 army special operations officers who fought in Marawi.

He also told them to be ready for possible terrorist attacks in the southern part of the country where ISIS members who are losing land base in Syria and Iraq may decide to go.