DAVAO CITY—“You have no territory.”
This was the terse message of President Rodrigo Duterte to communist rebels apparently in reaction to rebel claims that soldiers had violated the holiday truce by attacking rebel territory.
“Don’t take my territory,” Duterte said.
“You don’t have any territory,” he said. “Let me be clear on that,” the President added.
“This is the Republic of the Philippines. I decide where I want to put police and military,” Duterte said during a ceremony to award financial aid to farmers in Pigcauayan, Cotabato province.
Duterte said rebels were doomed to fail and belonged in the same league as the rich.
“For 53 years now, they haven’t done anything but to pull the country down,” said Duterte, referring to the number of years the communist insurgency has been going on.
“They’re always killing. The rich—they better go together,” said the President, who had enjoyed close relations with rebels during his time as Davao City mayor.
“It’s only the middle class who work in this country,” he said.
Duterte also lashed at the builder of a condominium building in Davao City that collapsed at the height of the Oct. 31 quake, DMCI Holdings.
He vented his ire on the company after a top DMCI official had spoken about the potential impact on investors of the Duterte administration’s move to rescind water concession agreements with Maynilad and Manila Water.
Edited by TSB
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