MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has raised the reward for killing members of the New People’s Army and is hoping that by increasing it to P100,000 for every NPA guerilla killed, the rebels themselves will be the ones killing each other for the bounty.
During his speech in Manila before Chinese-Filipino businessmen, the chief executive also said that based on his computation, it would be more expensive if the government would be the one pursuing communist rebels. Thus, it would be better to have another do it.
“Kwenta-kwenta ko kung hanggang end of my term mas magastos. Bayaran ko na times active — they cannot be more than 3,000. Sa 25, makamura ako. P***, totoo. At next week, mag-increase ‘yan. I will increase it to make it 30, then…I-increasan ko ng 100,000, sila na ‘yong magpapatayan,” he said.
Earlier this month, reacting to Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison’s threat that the NPA could kill one soldier daily, the President, while in Davao City, told Lumad members that he would give them P20,000 for every killed guerilla.
Last week, he raised raised the bounty to P25,000.
“Now, I’m placing a premium. Sige [Okay], P25,000. If you work really hard to crawl across the forest, you’ll surely be able to shoot even just one. If you can shoot a bird above you, then how much more about an [NPA] whose head is so big?” said Duterte while he was in Cebu City last Feb. 15.
On Tuesday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque downplayed Duterte’s statement, saying there was no implementing order in relation to the chief executive’s pronouncement and adding that fears that the top leader’s statements would trigger mercenary killings was baseless.
“Hindi po…Ang nais mangyari ni President talaga ay s’ya’y sumasagot doon sa sinasabi ni Joma Sison na s’ya ay magpapapatay ng isang sundalo kada araw [No…The President was just responding to what Joma Sison said that he would have one soldier killed daily],” Roque said in an interview with DZRH radio.
“So ang sinasabi lang n’ya siguro ay huwag n’yong habulin ang estado dahil mas marami namang resources ang estado…Kung kinakailangan talaga eh mas madali mabura sa mukha ng planetang ito ang mukha ng miyembro ng CPP-NPA,” he added.
[What he appears to be saying was that don’t go after the state because it has more resources and if needed, it could erase from the face of the Earth members of the CPP-NPA.]