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Gov’t says peace talks with NDF still on track


By Genalyn D. Kabiling

The government is still committed to pursuing peace negotiations with the communist group despite the recent rebel attack on a police station in Iloilo.

The communist leaders, however, must show “firmer” resolve to rein in their fighters from attacking government forces as earlier promised, according to Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella.

MB FILE -- Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella (TOTO LOZANO/ Presidential Photo / Manila Bulletin)

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella
(TOTO LOZANO/ Presidential Photo / Manila Bulletin File Photo)

“As of this moment, there is no instruction from the President to discontinue the government’s peace negotiations,” Abella said in a Palace news conference.

Abella said it was “unfortunate” the NPA rebels attacked the police station on the same day the government reciprocated the National Democratic Front’s declaration to refrain from offensives in Mindanao.

He said the rebel attack did not occur in Mindanao but the action was still “clearly opportunistic.”

“We have asked the NDF to call on their servant — on their armed comrades on the ground to, you know, to respond in kind and show genuine sincerity on the confidence- building measure initiated by both the government and their side,” he said.

“So basically, we want a firmer response,” he said.

Around 50 NPA rebels raided a police station in Maasin, Iloilo on broad daylight last Sunday. No was injured but the suspects reportedly stole firearms, cash and other items.

The Iloilo provincial director was ordered relieved after the armed attack on the police station.

The rebel attack came just as the government and NDF peace panels announced a cessation of offensives in Mindanao so troops could redirect energy on operations against the Maute group in Marawi City.

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  • tarikan

    Mr. Secretary, hindi ka po man lamang nag-ahit/naghilamos bago humarap sa media. At ano po yang gasgas sa noo nyo? Kung may hangover po kayo si Andanar na lang ang iharap sa media. Nasaan na ba yun, tagal nang out of the limelight ah? Going to the peace talks..halimbawa lang nagka-ayos na ang GRP at NDFP/CPP, will there be peace in the land considering that the NPAs in the field no longer take orders from the old boys in Utrecht?

  • Mr Askal

    Bantay salakay–peace talk while they attack. AFP and PNP, don’t let your guard down and continue to fight the terrorist NPA.