TAGUM CITY (26 Apr 2015) - Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte called on the communist New People's Army (NPA) to spare the Palarong Pambansa from attacks and, in jest invited guerrillas to take part in the games as athletes.
"I would like to tell the NPA: 'Stay out of this'," Duterte said before a closed-door briefing in this city for security preparations for the Palarong Pambansa.
Some government officials expressed concern over the possibility of NPA rebels attacking venues of the games that are scheduled on May 4-9 in this city.
"I'm telling them, if you want to come and watch, fine," said Duterte. "Or you may want to send a delegation, you may play basketball or volleyball with the Task Force Davao," Duterte said.
Task Force Davao is a military-led anti-terror group based in Davao City.
But Duterte said government officials should be assured that NPA rebels would not attack the games.
"I'm 100-percent sure of it," he said.