Groups slam VP Duterte for opposing gov't peace talks with NDFP | Inquirer News

Groups slam VP Duterte for opposing gov’t peace talks with NDFP

/ 12:31 PM December 05, 2023

doj sara duterte icc peace talks ndfp groups

Sara Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Multiple activist groups unleashed a barrage of criticisms on Tuesday towards Vice President Sara Duterte for opposing the peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) turned the Vice President’s words against her, saying that disapproving of the Philippine government’s moves toward peace makes her an “enemy of the nation.”


“Mismong kay Sara Duterte nanggaling kamakailan lamang na ang ‘kalaban ng kapayapaan ay kalaban ng bayan.’ At pinatunayan nitong siya mismo ang kalaban ng bayan sa lantarang pagkontra sa usapang pangkapayapaan,” Pamalakaya said in a statement.


(Sara Duterte herself recently said, “The enemy of peace is the enemy of the nation.” She proved this by openly opposing peace talks, showing herself as an enemy of the nation.)

Meanwhile, the ecumenical youth group Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) stressed in its statement that Duterte’s opposition to peace talks makes her a “warmonger.”

“She is reminding us that negotiations for peace only revolve around fighting, even though the aim is to address the socio-economic roots of why so many poor Filipinos take up arms,” SCMP said in Filipino.

In a separate statement, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) took a less direct approach and instead urged the public to advocate for peacebuilding between the government and the communists.

However, the group warned Filipinos to look out for individuals who want to halt peace efforts.

“We call on the Filipino people to continue supporting the resumption of the peace talks and to remain vigilant against peace spoilers and militarists who want to undermine the Oslo Joint Statement,” Bayan said.


The Oslo Joint Statement is the document that affirms that the Philippine government will pursue a peaceful resolution of the armed conflict with the CPP-NPA-NDFP.

The group emphasized that pursuing peace talks rather than relying on militaristic strategies is a better approach to addressing armed conflict in the country.

“Armed struggle stems from deep-rooted social ills which cannot be solved by bombing communities and forcing the surrender of the struggling masses,” Bayan said in a statement.

Bayan then lauded the government officials who backed the administration’s moves towards resuming peace talks with the rebels.

“We commend the different public officials who have spoken out in support of resuming peace negotiations with the NDFP,” the group’s statement continued.

“Indeed, if the stumbling blocks are removed and there is seriousness in truly addressing the long-running issues that give rise to armed conflict, we see no reason why both parties cannot come to an agreement that is acceptable and beneficial to the people,” it added.

The groups’ statements come amidst the divide between top government officials on the resumption of peace talks between the Philippine Government and the NDFP.

On Monday, Vice President Duterte called the government’s move to talk peace with the rebels “an agreement with the devil.”

But House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has called the steps towards the resumption of peace talks a “chance to mend the fissures that have long divided our nation.”

READ: Romualdez on reviving peace talks with NDF: It’s not a political maneuver

House political leaders on Tuesday have also expressed support for President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’ initiative for national unity.

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READ: Elusive peace

TAGS: Duterte, NDFP, Peace Talks, Sara Duterte

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