Lacson: Making peace with communist rebels defies gov’t policy
MANILA, Philippines — The government’s attempt to make peace with communist rebels is inconsistent with the state policy not to negotiate with terrorists, former senator Ping Lacson said on Thursday.
Lacson, who served as the chairperson of the Senate’s committee on national defense and security in the 18th Congress, authored and sponsored the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
“The Anti-Terrorism Council’s designation of the Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF) as terrorist organizations makes the peace talks proposal inconsistent with the state policy not to negotiate with terrorists. One way or the other, one has to give,” said Lacson in a tweet.
In 2021, the Anti-Terrorism Council designated NDF as a terrorist group, saying it “found probable cause warranting the designation of the group as a terrorist group of persons, organization, or association for having committed, or attempting to commit, or conspire in the commission of the acts defined and penalized under Sections, 7, 10, and 12 of the Anti Terrorism Act.”
Former president Rodrigo Duterte terminated the government’s peace talks with communist rebels in 2017 by signing Proclamation No. 360.
He said members of the group failed to show their sincerity and commitment in pursuing “genuine and meaningful” peaceful negotiations.