Dureza: Gov’t cancels peace talks with Reds
Secretary Jesus Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, on Wednesday announced the cancellation of peace talks with the communist rebels following the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We are hereby announcing today the cancellation of all planned meetings with the CPP/NPA/NDF in line with President Duterte’s directive that there will be no more peace talks with them,” Dureza said in a statement.
“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. We will closely watch the developments,” he added.
Recent tragic and violent incidents all over the country committed by the communist rebels, he said, left the President with no other choice but to arrive at this decision.
In his visit to soldiers Tuesday, Duterte announced that he wants to cut talks with the New People’s Army following their string of attacks that have affected civilians.
“We take guidance from the President’s recent announcements and declarations. This is an unfortunate development in our work for peace,” he said.
The President also threatened to shut down mining firms which give revolutionary taxes to the rebels. This is seen as a form of extortion by the military, which allows the mining firms to be spared from the rebels’ attacks.
Duterte also recently announced that he would issue a proclamation tagging the NPA as terrorists.
The Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA are part of the list of foreign terrorist organizations since 2002.
He said Duterte “has taken unprecedented steps and has walked the so-called extra mile to bring peace.”
“Never before have we all reached this far in our negotiations with them,” he said.
“However, the communist party and its armed elements have not shown reciprocity,” he added. “We will closely watch the developments.”
“We have expressed our deep gratitude to the royal Norwegian government for its strong support as we also expressed to their officials our regrets for this turn of events. Despite this setback, hopefully only temporary, we remain steadfast and undeterred in our unrelenting journey for sustainable and just peace,” he said.
“I now call on everyone: “let’s all stay the course together,” he added. /jpv
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