Business & Economy

Communist insurgency only dragging down businesses, says Duterte

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, Nov. 27, dismissed the communist insurgency as worthless, which only dragged down businesses.

“Manufacturing in the agricultural sector is lagging. Why? Because it cannot propel itself into prosperity for so long as there is violence in the countryside,” Duterte said in a speech he gave at the Bangsamoro Assembly. Especially with this worthless - the NPA [New People’s Army],” Duterte said in a speech during the Bangsamoro Assembly in Suktan Kudarata, Maguindanao.

Duterte said the NPA targeted companies because they would not give in to its demands.

The NPA had reasoned out that what it was demanding from companies was revolutionary tax.

Fidel Agcaoili, chief negotiator of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) even justified it by saying the NPA had the political power.

“And they have the right, any state…they have the right to impose tax on any form of business that operates within its own territory,” Agcaoili said during a press conference here in June 2016.

But Duterte said the NPA’s demand was a form of extortion.

“And that is extortion. [The NPA] thrives on extortion. It is not revolutionary tax,” he said.

This was the same reason, he said, that the government was not talking with the communists anymore, while it maintained its peace negotiations with Moro rebels.

“How many times have you seen vehicles being burned? You think it’s done by the Moros here? Of course not. I should know it,” he said.

Duterte said while his government was willing to “deal with another [war]” against the communists, he was still open to a peaceful resolution.

“It behooves upon the Moro, all of you and us to maintain that kind of peace that we desire,” he said. “Because time will come, when we are given the empowerment now to run our lives, run your own economy, create your own gross domestic product locally, we would still be having problem.”

“But we’re willing to talk peace,” Duterte added.

Duterte stressed, however, that there should be no coalition.

“But for the communists, let me be very clear: One republic, no coalition. Government must be the sole authority,” he said.  –


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