Philippines

Duterte to Joma : Don’t worry about your safety

Duterte to Joma : Don’t worry about your safety
By Jelly Musico

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday clarified his previous statement against Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison, saying “Aquino-style” assassination will not happen to him.

“There is no Aquino-style killing where I will shoot someone from behind,” Duterte said in his speech during the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Change of Command.

The President was apparently referring to former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino who was shot in the back as he got out of the plane that brought him to the Philippines from the United States on Aug. 21, 1981.

Duterte had earlier threatened to kill Sison if the peace talks that the President wanted to be held in the Philippines fail.

The President said that what he wanted to say was “if it is not successful, then I will guarantee that he can go out of the country unhampered, unfettered, unbridled”.

“He does not have to worry about his safety. If you come home, do not worry about being killed. I will not do that,” Duterte said.

Duterte appealed anew to Sison to come home and discuss peace within a “small window of 60 days” the President has provided to the communist leader.

“I’m giving you my word of honor. It is my word and I would say, you go home, let’s talk earnestly, sincerely,” the President said.

Duterte, however, said he would not give way to Sison’s demand for a coalition government.

“As long as you do not ask a coalition government, which I cannot give and will never give, you can come home and talk to me and the others, and maybe in the fullness of God’s time we can achieve peace in our land,” he said.

The Commander-in-Chief said his invitation to Sison to come home was in line with his desire to achieve peace not only with communist rebels but with other groups.

“I was elected by the people not only by the military and the police, but all, including the Moro, also have this desire and confidence to talk to us about peace,” Duterte said.

“My job is not go to war. My job cannot be killing our own countrymen. My job, my task, my mandate is to give peace to everybody,” he added. (PNA)

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