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Communists ask Duterte: Give us time to probe NPA attack

Jose Maria Sison. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Jose Maria Sison. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

LUCENA CITY, Quezon — Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison on Friday asked President Duterte for more time to investigate the attack staged by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Davao del Norte province that left a government militiaman dead and four others wounded.

The President,  who met with officers and men of the military’s Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) here on Thursday, did not hide his dismay over the attack that was staged few days after he ordered on Monday a unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels in preparation for the resumption of peace talks.

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Mr. Duterte warned leaders of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) that he would revoke the ceasefire order with the NPA if the rebels would not stop attacking government forces. He also asked NDFP leaders to explain why the attack happened despite the truce offered by the government.

“What is this? Are we into this truce or are we not?” Mr. Duterte said, addressing communist leaders.

In an online chat Friday, Sison, now living in exile in Utrecht, The Netherlands, said the concerned NPA regional command had been asked by the NDFP to investigate and submit a report on the attack.

He said representatives of the Philippine government and NDFP negotiating panels “are in touch.”

Fidel Agcaoili, NDFP spokesperson, said they have talked to government chief negotiator Silvestre Bello III regarding the investigation on the attack.

Agcaoili assured the President of the NDFP’s commitment to resume the peace negotiation, which has been scheduled to take place Aug. 20 to 27 in Norway.

The New People’s Army is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. The NDFP, its political wing, is handling the peace negotiations with the Philippine government.  SFM

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