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AFP to recommend termination of peace talks

/ 07:02 PM July 03, 2018

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the termination of peace talks with communist rebels.

“We the Armed Forces of the Philippines, being part of the Department of National Defense will recommend to the President to terminate the peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF [Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front] led by Mr. Sison,” AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo told reporters Tuesday at Camp Aguinaldo.

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Lorenzana’s recommendation

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s earlier said he will recommend the termination of peace talks, as the communist rebels do not appear sincere with the negotiations.

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The defense chief alleged that communists have crafted a three-year plan to advance the revolutionary movement, which includes planning the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Lorenzana also said the communists also could not comply with the preconditions set by the President including a stop to recruitment, no arson and no collection of revolutionary taxes.

‘Localized talks’

Arevalo, on the other hand, explained that while they want to terminate the peace talks, they would still like to promote “localized” peace talks.

“Sa kabila ng sinasabi natin na imumungkahi natin na itigil na ang usapang pangkapayapaan, hindi ibig sabihin nito na ang inyong AFP ay laban sa peace talks. It does mean that we are against peace talks. Ang gusto lang natin, what we want is a peace process that is transparent genuine and sincere, a peace talk that embodies the desire of our people to put an end to all these fighting so that peace and progress can come in,” he said.

The localized peace talks will be implemented by local government units, which he says are more familiar with the situation on the ground.

“Ang susuportahan po natin ay ang localized peace talks sa pamamagitan ng mga LGUs natin na mas may direktang pagkakaalam kung ano ang umiiral na sitwasyon sa kanilang lokalidad at ganun din sa kanilang members ng communist terrorist group sa lokal na pamahalaan,” Arevalo said.

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The resumption of peace talks, supposedly scheduled on June 28, were cancelled after the President decided to hold more public consultations before restarting the talks.   /vvp

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