Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, Panacan, Davao City
7 August 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte paid his respect to four fallen soldiers who where killed-in- action (KIA) during an encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA) in Compostela Valley last August 5, 2016.

The President personally expressed his condolences to the families of the soldiers, who were identified as Cpl. Gilmar Napa, Cpl. Jimmy Bayta, Pfc. Rolen Roy Sarmiento, and Cpl. Ruel Mangaoang, all from the Philippine Army (PA).

Due to these recent killings, President Duterte called on the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to continue having peace talks, insisting that the 45 years of war between the government and the rebel group should end.

He specified the usage of landmines that killed the soldiers and other civilians, saying this is against the Geneva Conventions, in which the Philippines is one of the signatories. The Geneva Conventions are a series of treaties that aim to protect people who are not taking part in any hostilities, including civilians who are incapable of fighting.

“I cannot understand for the light of it that if it’s to your advantage, you invoke the Geneva Conventions. And yet, time and again, I’ve been the mayor of the city, sinabi ko sa inyo, akala ko ba sumusunod kayo sa Geneva Convention?,” the President said.

He added, “If I hear another explosion killing people, not only soldiers, killing people. No talks. Pasensya na.”

If the talks fail, according to the President, he insisted that war will continue for another 45 years, and this time, he will recruit millions of Filipinos to help. He reiterated the rebels must decide immediately.

“Would you like that I will also order the Armed Forces na ‘gamitin ninyo ang landmine’ pag kayo ang nakaposisyon at in-ambush? Which is which? Or would you rather na table tayo? Sasabihin ko sa kanila na start using landmines for offensive and defensive purposes,” he said.

Moreover, in the pursuit of suppressing illegal drugs in the country, President Duterte added more names to his list of people suspected to be involved in illegal drugs. This time, he named several politicians, judges, and police officials allegedly involved in illegal drug trades.

He said the policemen in the list are to be removed from their post and are given 24 hours to report to their police chief. On the other hand, those government officials with an alleged involvement in illegal drugs will be stripped off their police escort.

“Ako po’y kaisa-isang Presidente na gumagawa nito. Alam mo bakit? Kailangan malaman ng tao kung anong nangyayari sa bayan. It is very important for the people to know the state of things and conditions of this country. That is my sworn duty,” he said.

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