Communist rebels should state clearly what they want, says Palace aide | Inquirer News

Communist rebels should state clearly what they want, says Palace aide

President Aquino and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (center) applaud as peace panel chairs Miriam Coronel-Ferrer of the Philippine government and Mohagher Iqbal of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front exchange copies of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro that they signed on Thursday in Malacañang. Also witnessing the event are Malaysian facilitator Ab Ghafar Mohamed, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles (right), and MILF chair Murad Ebrahim (left). INQUIRE FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—It is up to the local communist movement what to do next in light of the government’s recent peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Malacañang said Saturday.

Abigail Valte, a spokesperson for President Aquino, said the administration has proven its sincerity in negotiating peace with insurgent groups with the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro last Thursday.

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Valte made the comments after Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista said the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its New People’s Army (NPA) had degenerated into bandits and would become irrelevant in five years.

“We’ve always subscribed to peace negotiations as a way to put an end … to their struggles,” Valte said in an interview on the state-run radio dzRB. “And we’ve always advocated peaceful means to settle any dispute, whether it’s local or whether it’s international.”

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“It is up to the leadership and the ranks of the CPP what they intend to do with themselves now that everything like this is happening,” she added, referring to the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro with the MILF.

The signing of the new peace accord left the CPP-NPA as the only insurgent group the government has to deal with.

The Philippine government has in past administrations negotiated and signed peace agreements with such armed groups as the Moro National Liberation Front and the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army.

“We are reasonable…. We also faced challenges during the negotiations with the MILF but we were able to get past those,” Valte said.

“We’ve always been a believer in good faith when it comes to peace talks and that is why signed the peace agreement,” she added.

Valte agreed with the observation that the CPP-NPA should deliver a clear message if it wants to return to the negotiating table to work out a peace agreement with the government.

“That is something that should be a concern to them in the sense that they should have clear messages at least for the public,” Valte said.

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TAGS: Abigail Valte, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), Negotiation, New People's Army, peace process
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