NDF accuses gov’t adviser of sabotaging peace talks

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LUCENA CITY, Philippines—The spokesperson of the National Democratic Front (NDF) on Friday accused Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles of sabotaging the peace talks between the government and the leftist insurgents.

In a statement from his base in Utrecht, The Netherlands, Fidel Agcaoili claimed Deles’ “singular aim in the peace negotiations (is) the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary movement.”

“Because she could not get her way, she has been sabotaging the peace talks,” Agcaoili said.

Deles was reported to have accused the NDF, the Communist Party of the Philippines  and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, of designing the peace talks as a “protracted and unending process” without conceding anything to the government.

“There is a need for a ‘new approach’ to the peace negotiations under which the community and other peace stakeholders should play a pivotal role. On this rests our hope and belief that peace will, sooner than later, reign in our land,” Deles said in a statement posted on a government website.

Agcaoili scoffed at Deles’ allegation as “preposterous.”

He said Deles was “practically calling as foolish” previous administrations which had signed preliminary agreements with the NDF, including The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees.

Negotiations between the rebels and the government have been stalled since 2004, giving rise to continued human rights violations, according to human rights watchdog Karapatan.

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