Tiamzon arrest a ‘big blow’ to CPP, Malacañang ready for NPA revenge
MANILA, Philippines- Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda described Sunday the arrest of the Tiamzon couple, the leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), as big blow to the leadership of the communist group.
CPP-NPA leaders Benito and wife Wilma Tiamzon were arrested March 22 in Cebu, confirmed Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.
“We’ve captured the leadership, and the top leadership at the very least,” Lacierda said in a media briefing. “The Tiamzon couple are heading the CPP-NPA here in the Philippines.”
Lacierda added that they the government is ready for any retaliation that may happen from the CPP’s armed wing, the NPA.
“We are aware of the possibility and we are ready to protect the citizenry, our population, and the Armed Forces are always ready to defend them,” Lacierda said.
Ready to resume talks
Despite the arrests, Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Deles said the government remained open to resuming peace talks with communist rebels.
“We are always ready for talks to address a doable and time-bound substantive agenda and we continue to hope to get to get to that point sooner rather than later,” she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a text message.
“The arrest of Benito and Wilma Tiamzon does not change our basic stance that peace negotiations with the CPP/NPA can only proceed with a clear and time-bound agenda that provides some possibility of bringing us closer to a final peace agreement.”
“We continue to hope that the leadership of the CPP/NPA will come to the same conclusion sooner rather later,” she added. With a report from Christian Esguerra, Philippine Daily Inquirer
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.