MANILA – The President of the Philippines has offered a bounty of around $500 for killing a member of the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, official sources said on Thursday.
Rodrigo Duterte’s comments come after Jose Maria Sison – the exiled leader of the CPP – said last week in the Netherlands that the NPA – considered a terrorist organization by the Philippines, the United States and the European Union – was capable of killing one soldier a day.
“You kill an NPA today and I’ll pay you 25,000 pesos ($487),” Duterte said according to the official transcript of a speech he delivered on Wednesday in the city of Cebu.
Duterte added paying 25,000 pesos to everyone who killed a rebel would be cheaper than the state financing a war against the guerilla group, which has an extensive presence in rural parts of the country.
Duterte’s critics had condemned the offer as an incitement to extra-judicial killings, similar to those allegedly carried out during Duterte’s drug war that killed more than 7,000, according to some estimates.
This was the second time in less than a week that Duterte has made a controversial statement about the NPA.
On Sunday, he had said soldiers should shoot female members of the group “in the vagina,” causing wide global outrage.