President Rodrigo Duterte, photo from Philnews
According to the officials of President Rodrigo Duterte, he is already preparing for a roundup of communist peace consultants, as he considered them as fugitives.

“For those who are out temporarily, we will just zero in because any day now, I will order their mass arrest. I am forced to do this because this is what you want,” Duterte told military officials during a ceremony at MalacaƱang.

Duterte on Wednesday told newly promoted military officials to rearrest communist rebels who have posted bail to supposedly serve as consultants in the peace talks which were cancelled.

The government, through a Supreme Court resolution, allowed the release of the rebel leaders to participate as consultants of the National Democratic Front (NDF) in the peace talks in Norway.

One of the conditions of the release is that once the peace negotiations are terminated, the bail bonds would be automatically terminated.

The peace talks were cancelled by Duterte, and he publicly branded the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), as a terrorist group.

Duterte said there is no turning back for the freed rebels even if they want peace talks with the government.

Among the released rebel leaders are spouses Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, the top NPA leaders,

“I released about 32, including the Tiamzon spouses. They are the ideologues of the Communist Party. They are also old already and I can understand why they are insisting on the resumption of the talks. One day, I will just have you rearrested,” he said.

The president warned militant groups and the NPA to not challenge him.

"You try, and I will show that I am also sincere when I say that I will arrest you and confiscate all those things that are not allowed by law, it is not mine. It has been there for so many presidents to act. Now, on my term, I will do it,” Duterte said.

Saying that the personalities who support the NPA are guilty of conspiracy to commit treason, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that these personalities too shall be arrested.

Roque said a person or a group could be charged for inciting to rebellion or sedition under the Human Security Act and other penal laws.

The Department of Justice (DOJ), for its part, is moving to rearrest the rebel consultants. Government prosecutors had filed a motion before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32 on Nov. 24 seeking cancellation of bail grant on the 20 peace consultants led by the Tiamzon couple.

Roque explained the charges against the group or person still needs to be processed by the courts under the Human Security Act, despite the President's deeming of them as terrorists.

He said that Duterte's declaration is allowed under law.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said  that he is to issue a department order to create a team to file a formal court petition.

“It has excellent chances (of being approved) because of the numerous supporting evidence we have (showing) that they are committing terrorist activities despite numerous initiatives of President Duterte to reach out to them,” he said.


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Duterte on communists: I will order their mass arrest Duterte on communists: I will order their mass arrest Reviewed by FN Correspondent on 07 December Rating: 5

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