Defense chief cynical over peace talks
Amid a planned meeting between government officials and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana voiced cynicism over the communist rebels’ push for the resumption of peace talks.
In a statement on Sunday, presidential adviser on the peace process Jesus Dureza said that the meeting with NDFP chief negotiator Fidel Agcaoili and senior consultant Luis Jalandoni might happen next week.
“President Duterte has tasked Secretary Salvador Panelo and me to meet with them (Agcaoili and Jalandoni) in an informal chat,” Dureza pointed out.
But Lorenzana maintained that the communist rebels had been “guilty of bad faith since the beginning,” claiming that the peace talks had long been their tool to pursue their armed rebellion.
The defense secretary alleged that Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison was sending Jalandoni and Agcaoili to the Philippines to “stall” the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program through which the CPP-NPA had lost thousands of fighters.
“The CPP and NDFP are realizing that the current localized peace talks campaign of the government to convince their fighters to return to the folds of the law is working,” Lorenzana said.
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