Duterte Says NPAs Welcome in Malacañang If He Becomes President
by Alexander D. Lopez
July 11, 2015
Davao City – has admitted maintaining close ties with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), but said that he has only done so to bridge peace with the insurgents.
“The military knows that I have connections with the Left. The kind of connection was not the one involved in killing, but the one where they discussed what was better for everybody,” Duterte told a huge crowd Thursday evening during the wake of slain NPA leader Leoncio “Kumander Parago” Pitao at the Almendras Gym here.
Duterte said he and his family had ties with the rebels that go back to his childhood when his mother accommodated them at their house in Matina.
“My mother was close to the communists here. As a matter of fact, (they used) our house in Matina as their place of discussion. When the military knew, my father was the governor, so they had that kind of respect for us,” he recounted.
And given such closeness to the CPP-NPA, Duterte also averred that “the continuing struggle of the communist movement continues to exist today.”
“We are in the mode of the arms struggle of the Communist Party of the Philippines,” he said.
Duterte’s revelation came even as he pledged to allow CPP-NPA rebels to visit him in Malacañang should he become the next president.
“They want me to run for President. It’s making the NPAs happy. At last, they can go to Malacañang,” he said, while drawing applause from the more than 7,000 that attended the wake.
He explained further that, should he become president, he would “need a window so I can talk with the CPP and the NPA.”
He said he would even personally invite CPP founding chair Jose Maria Sison and other communist leaders to join his cabinet.
Duterte likewise recalled how Parago dealt with him with much respect.
“I’m sad, because the man was my friend. The many times that I was in the countryside, I was treated with respect,” he said.
When he was in NPA camps working to facilitate the release of soldiers and policemen captured by the insurgents in the past, he was thankful to Parago that he was allowed to fetch them personally.