President Rodrigo Duterte declared that he was never a communist despite being a student of Communist Party of the Philippines founder Joma Sison and being close to New People’s Army leaders.
“Do not believe that I’m a communist. Ako politiko,” said Duterte in a speech during the anniversary of the Philippine Security Group.
Duterte explained that he has to be chummy with all sectors, including communist rebels, to maintain his popularity and ensure peace in Davao City.
“Pagka-eleksyon p***, basta boto, lamano ‘yan. Bakit pwede mong awayin? Mawalaan ka pa ng boto. Pagkatapos niyan, so when I became President, nagkaroon na ng clear cut, ganun,” said Duterte
“Kaibigan ko man ‘yan sila. That is why during my time nagsu-surface sila. Kumakain pa diyan sa Malacañan. Kasi gusto ko talaga na matapos na. But kung hindi, well that is your burden, the Armed Forces and the Police. Iyon ang trabaho ninyo,” he added.
Duterte is frustrated that Sison and the CPP-NPA have not reciprocated his offers for a peace pact. He was forced to scuttle the peace talks in 2017 because CPP-NPA forces continued to attack military forces and extort from businesses and ordinary Filipinos.