PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has rejected the unilateral ceasefire declared by the communist rebels and ordered troops to "destroy" them.
The President made the statement before soldiers in Mawab, Compostela Valley, more than a week after the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) declared a ceasefire with the government in observance of the holiday season as well as its 50th founding anniversary.
"We do not subscribe to their ceasefire. We are ready for anything and I said change your paradigm. Do not fight them. Destroy them. Destroy them. Kill them. Basta destroy," Duterte said.
"Law and order means you have to destroy, not really fight, but destroy the Communist Party of the Philippines, including its legal fronts and infrastructure," he said.
The President also slammed anew the alleged atrocities by the rebels.
"Unless we are able to destroy every one of them, ang ating mga anak o apo ninyo ganun pa rin ang haharapin. And many of them will be soldiers and many of them will die without seeing the outcome of what would eventually be the Republic of the Philippines," he said.
Peace negotiations between the government and communist rebels bogged down in November last year after Duterte denounced the continued attacks by the rebels on troops and civilians.
The President has set out a new strategy in addressing the decades-old communist insurgency as provided for under Executive Order 70 which he signed on December 4.
The EO provides that the whole-of-nation approach aims to address the root causes of insurgencies, disturbances and tensions such as poverty, historical injustice, social inequality and lack of inclusivity.