President Rodrigo Duterte expressed optimism that the next administration will be “much better” in addressing the problems that continue to confront the country problems and needs.
He also hopes that his campaign against illegal drugs and communist insurgency would be continued by his successor.
Nevertheless, he ensured that the fight against drug offenders and communist rebels would be relentless until he steps down from office on June 30.
Despite his strained relationship with the communist movement due to the rebels’ killing spree while peace talks were ongoing, Duterte is hopeful the next president would also make an effort to “reconnect” with the communist movement.
Duterte also renewed his call to communist insurgents to surrender and reintegrate into mainstream society, reassuring them that they would get assistance from the government.
The peace negotiations between the national government and the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) political wing, National Democratic Front (NDF), have been intermittent since 1986.
Duterte held a series of peace talks with the NDF but decided to terminate the negotiations following the relentless attacks of the CPPs armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), against government troops and civilians.
He formally ended the peace dialogue with the NDF through Proclamation 360 inked on Nov. 23, 2017, followed by the Dec. 5, 2017 signing of Proclamation 273 which declared the CPP-NPA as a terror group.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist group by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973.
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