Gov’t not open to renewed talks with Reds
The presidential peace office is not inclined to talk peace again at the national level with the Reds, citing the communist leaders’ insincerity.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (Opapru), previously the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, prefers continuing “peace engagements” with local leaders and fighters of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
In a statement late Monday, Wilben Mayor, spokesperson for the Opapru, said the office “respects the position of the presidential candidates with regard to the possible resumption of peace talks with the CPP-NPA-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).”
He was referring to the stand of four presidential candidates—Senators Manny Pacquiao and Panfilo Lacson, Vice President Leni Robredo and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso—to revive peace talks with the communist rebels should they win.
But he pointed out that President Duterte terminated the talks in 2017 because of the CPP-NPA-NDFP’s “insincerity and lack of commitment.”
“While the group’s leaders were talking peace with the national government, their men were attacking government forces,” he said.
Lacson agrees that the government can best deal with the country’s decades-long insurgency with localized peace talks. INQ
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