Año counters Sison: ‘Gov’t not giving up on peace’
The government is not giving up on peace, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año said on Thursday, amid reported claims of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Chairman Jose Maria Sison that the administration has closed its doors on peace.
Año countered Sison’s pronouncements that he and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana convinced President Rodrigo Duterte to halt the peace negotiations with the CPP. Sison was quoted in an exclusive interview with a media network in The Netherlands, where he is now in exile.
“Joma is mistaken. The government has always been on the side of peace. Hindi kami ang kontrabida dito (We are not the antagonists here),” Año said in a statement.
“We have always been relentless in the pursuit of promoting peace and we are not giving up on it,” he added.
Localized peace talks
Despite the pause in the peace negotiations with CPP, Año said the government has opted to pursue other avenues in pursuing peace, including localized peace talks.
“It’s useless to talk to Joma and his cohorts. We would rather talk to local rebels who are actually fighting in the mountains and not Joma and those like him who are enjoying the comforts of living in Europe while his minions are doing the hard work,” Año said.
According to the DILG official, Sison’s statement is just a “futile attempt” to divert public attention from their plot to oust Duterte and instead revive the discussion on peace talks.
He added that there is no use in pursuing talks with the Reds if they continue to kill government troops and civilians.
Last Tuesday, a police officer was killed and another was wounded in an ambush by suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of CPP.
Año also emphasized that Duterte has extended his hand for peace with the leftists by placing some of them in Cabinet positions. /ee
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