Aquino spokesman to communist rebels: Sincerity is the issue
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday underscored the importance for communist rebels to show sincerity in their peace negotiations with the government after they insurgents claimed that the Aquino administration had “no moral high ground” to make such demand.
President Benigno Aquino III’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda said there was nothing wrong with what Aquino said early this week when he asked for sincerity from the National Democratic Front, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army in light of an alleged string of rebel abductions, including that of a mayor in Surigao del Sur while the government was releasing jailed rebel personalities.
“Sincerity is the issue,” Lacierda said in a text message to reporters.
He said that government has released the rebels’ “alleged consultants” but the insurgents reciprocated ‘ by abducting non-combants such as Mayor Henry Dano of Lingig, Surigao del Sur, and two of his security escorts, as well as four jail personnel in Bukidnon.
“We remind the NDF that the release of its consultants was never an obligation but confidence building on the part of government to push the peace process forward,” Lacierda said.
He lamented that the peace process was now 24 years old with the two sides not taking up any substantive issue “beause it seems that their main objective is to use the process primarily to free their detained comrades.”
The Aquino administration has so far released four NDF consultants in resuming peace negotiations with communist rebels.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.