John Matthew Cruz
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte revealed Friday that he had once become a "hostage" of the New People's Army (NPA). Speaking before the graduates of Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Masiklab Class of 2017, the President recounted his life when he was taken custody by the communist NPA rebels. Duterte, however, failed to mention the details of the abduction. The Chief Executive said he was nabbed by the NPA rebels and tried in their "kangaroo court" because it could not accept that he, as a former prosecutor, "was doing the prosecution work against [their] comrades." "I was once a hostage by the NPA at tinutukan ako ng baril na M-14 sa ulo. I could feel the cold steel here [in my head]," the Chief Executive said in a speech delivered at the Camp Castañeda in Silang, Cavite. "They had their kangaroo court because I was a prosecutor to those NPA who had been detained. So I told them, that's okay with me," he added. The President, however, admitted that he could not stop worrying about his family, particularly his third child, Sebastian, who at that time was still in the womb of his former wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman. "First thing that went into my mind was my child who is in his mother's womb, Sebastian, the one who also looks for woman… All we think about is our child, family. That's difficult," he said. Duterte also said that he had even requested the NPA to kill him but it did not heed his request. "I said, people die. If it is my time, it is my time. But let the world know that you kill me because of your work. That's it. Just a little favor, for my life, that you killed me because I was doing the prosecution work against your comrades," the President said. "These stupid did not do it. And now, when I go there, they cood for me and guard me. That’s life," he added. The President has called for the termination of peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines, after its armed wing, the NPA, ended its unilateral truce with the government in February. The government's back-channel with the communist leaders early March, however, has paved way for the resumption of peace negotiations.