Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo urged communist rebels to accept the government's new amnesty program or face military defeat, according to a copy of a speech released Thursday.
Arroyo said the guerrillas have posed a low-level threat for years, and "if we are to become a modernized country, we have to put a stop to their ideological nonsense and their criminal acts once and for all."
"It is either amnesty or military solution. Whichever way, communist rebellion must be stopped," she told a peace forum late Wednesday.
Last week, Arroyo signed a proclamation offering amnesty to rebels who turn in their guns. The guerrillas, who have been fighting for 39 years, rejected the offer as a gimmick.