“There will be no ceasefire ever again under my term.”

President Rodrigo Duterte made this statement Monday night, as he also dismissed the possibility of reviving peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF), the negotiating arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“So for all intents and purposes, I would say the ceasefire is dead and… the peace talks between the NDF, NPA (New People’s Army) pati ‘yung — isali na lang natin ‘yung legal fronts nila, NPA, NDF pati kayong lahat,” he said.

Duterte said he walked away from initial peace talks “because we cannot understand each other.” “Maybe we were talking in different dialects but I just simply cannot understand the way it was being carried by the other side.”

The president also said there would be a time before his presidency ends when he would name everyone connected with the Reds.

“I’m trying to sort out what we will do to you because you are now criminals and I said I have pointed out we are not only tagging you… We are identifying you and we will identify you anytime you want. But there will be a time before my [term ends], I will name all of you, kayong lahat sa NDF.”

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday welcomed Duterte’s decision.

We are thankful to the commander in chief for heeding the AFP’s recommendation not to declare ceasefire this holiday season and beyond—not because we do not want peace, but because what we advocate is a genuine and lasting peace that we cannot achieve through a peace pact with the NPA that is notoriously insincere and unworthy of public trust,” AFP spokesman Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said.

The Philippine government and the communist groups often agree to a ceasefire during the holiday season.

Last year, it lasted from 12 a.m. of Dec. 23, 2019 until 11:59 p.m. of Jan. 7, 2020. John Ezekiel J. Hirro