By Noreen Jazul
There would no longer be peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front (NDF).
In a statement, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said “all planned meetings” with the three groups have been cancelled in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive.
“Recent tragic and violent incidents all over the country committed by the communist rebels left the President with no other choice but to arrive at this decision. We take guidance from the President’s recent announcements and declarations,” Dureza stated.
Last Sunday, the President declared that he is no longer inclined in resuming peace talks with the leftists whom he branded as “terrorists.”
“I will remove them from the category of a legal entity or at least a semi-movement which would merit our attention, placing them pareho sa Amerika (similar to what the United States did), terrorist. So beginning from now, wala nang rebellion-rebellion because rebellion is just a light offense, it can be bailable except for the leaders. We will file terrorist, murder lahat. Arson with murder, lahat na! Because I would consider them criminals already,” Duterte said.
Read more: No more talks with Reds
Dureza called the cancellation of peace talks an “unfortunate development” in their work for peace. He also took to task the Communist Party, saying its armed elements “have not shown reciprocity” to the steps President Duterte made to bring peace.
“There will be no peace negotiations anymore with the CPP/NPA/NDF until such time as the desired enabling environment conducive to a change in the government’s position becomes evident,” Dureza continued.
Dureza’s office said it regrets the “turn of events” and expressed hope that the setback will only be temporary.
“We remain steadfast and undeterred on our relenting journey for sustainable and just peace” Dureza disclosed. “Let’s all stay the course together.”
Tags: Communist Party, CPP, Jesus Dureza, Manila Bulletin, National Democratic Front, No more peace talks, NPA, peace process, Peace talks, Presidential Adviser, Reds Dureza, Rodrigo Duterte, the Communist Party