NPA may attack, warns Gazmin

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Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Tuesday said the communist insurgents might make their presence felt on the 44th anniversary of the New People’s Army (NPA) on March 29 because of the stalled peace talks.

“They usually do some activities or launch an incident just to be noticed,” Gazmin said in Filipino.

The Philippines is dealing with the longest communist insurgency in Asia and there has been little progress in the peace talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the NPA.

Gazmin said government had always been “sincere” in the talks but the CPP-NPA-NDF were the ones flip-flopping through the years.

“We won’t have an agreement if they are like that. Atras-abante, antras-abante. Oo ngayon, bukas hindi na naman (Forward, back, forward, back. It’s yes today, tomorrow it’s no again). Their position is not clear,” Gazmin said.

Gazmin said the CPP-NDF-NPA had been asking for too many unreasonable concessions in the peace talks that are impossible for the government to give, such as considering those arrested by security forces as members of or advisers to their negotiating panel.

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