MANILA, Philippines – After declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) a terrorist group, President Rodrigo Duterte is now comparing them to one of the most infamous terrorist organizations in the world: Islamic State (ISIS).
"I am sick and tired of talking to you. Almost pareho kayo ng ISIS (You are almost the same as ISIS). It's an empty thing. There is no ideology except to destroy and kill," Duterte said on Monday, December 18 during his address to a roomful of cops, firemen, and jail officers.
Only two weeks have passed since the President declared the NPA as a terrorist group, and only almost a month since he halted peace talks with communists.
During his speech, Duterte repeatedly condemned the NPA for their deadly guerrilla-style operations which had claimed the lives of many uniformed men and women.
"There is no point in talking to you. There’s not even a single factor of a revolutionary there. You go around asking money, robbing the poor tapos ‘yung mga asawa sa taga-bukid, hinihipo ninyo (then the wives in the countryside, you molest)," he said.
The President usually launches a tirade against the communists whenever he speaks after a recent report of an NPA attack. (READ: Joma to Duterte: Let's end war of words, war on the ground)
Aside from pointing out violence and armed struggle as a common thread, the President, however, failed to explain that both groups essentially want different things.
ISIS wants a global caliphate achieved through a global war, while the NPA seeks to overthrow the Philippine government for a systematic and cultural overhaul.
The Philippines itself is not a stranger to ISIS' ambitions. The country's main Islamic city, Marawi, just saw the end of a 5-month war started by homegrown terroristslinked to the international terrorist group.
According to the President, he even used to "share the same values" as the CPP, but he said he wonders what had happened. He did not mention which values had resonated with him before he soured on the rebels. – Rappler.com