By Aaron Recuenco
Police stations all over the country have opened their doors to all Communist rebels who want to surrender as the government intensified localized peace talks following President Duterte’s order to terminate the peace negotiations with the New People’s Army (NPA).
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Senior Supt. Bernard Banac said all police commanders, especially in Communist rebel-infested areas, were instructed to start their own initiatives in pursuing localized peace talks with NPA units operating in their respective areas.
“All our police commanders have been given directives on how to handle situations when there are NPA elements who want to surrender,” said Banac.
“They were also given directive on how to handle local NPA leaders who want to talk to them. The PNP will be open as we help the Armed Forces of the Philippines in this effort (localized peace talks),” he added.
The President had earlier ordered the permanent termination of the peace negotiations and recalled the appointment of five government negotiators who had been tasked to talk with the rebels.
The peace negotiations between the government and the NPA, through the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), had earlier bogged down after Duterte himself got pissed off when the rebels continue to attack policemen and soldiers during the negotiations.
With the termination of the peace talks, Banac said police commanders were also instructed to be alert at all times for possible escalation of attacks from the communist rebels.
“Our local units are constantly reminded to be alert because of the continuous threats from the NPA and other threat groups,” said Banac.
The communist rebels have been waging more than four decades of armed struggle against the government after attempts to strike a peace deal with various administrations failed.