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President Rodrigo Duterte declared in his first state of the nation address (SONA) that his aims are for a “permanent and lasting peace” before his term ends in 2022.

Unfortunately, on Wednesday, a government militiaman, the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) was killed and four others were wounded in an ambush staged by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay (village) Gupitan in Kapalong, Davao del Norte.

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President Duterte on Thursday called on Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, chairman of the negotiating panel of the government, which is also a leftist congressman to demand an explanation from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) or else he will immediately lift the unilateral ceasefire.

“Sabi ko, ‘Ano ba ito, are we in into this truce or are we not?’ Sabi ko sa kanila, Give me an answer by tonight because kapag tomorrow, wala, tatanggalin ko, balik tayo sa away,” Duterte said during a speech at Camp General Nakar in Lucena City, Quezon, on Thursday afternoon.

“If you do not honor or you kill a single soldier or a CAFGU, which is also a soldier of the Republic, eh sabi ko kalimutan na natin ito. Fight na lang. I am demanding an explanation from the Communist Party of the Philippines,” he said.

“Kung nagkasala kami rito, we punish our men and women sa serbisyo. Expect the same and I demand an answer na kung sino ang nagkasala, they must also put under disciplinary action. Otherwise, wala tayong pinag-usapan. That is my deal,” he added. – Jason E.