Dureza ‘extremely disturbed’ by NPA attacks amid ceasefire
President Rodrigo Duterte’s peace secretary was “extremely disturbed” over the series of attacks and harassment by alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) amid the unilateral ceasefire agreement with the National Democratic Front (NDF).
“We are distressed and extremely disturbed by the recent series of attacks and harassment by alleged NPA elements in various areas nationwide,” Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza said in statement Tuesday.
Contrary to the peace pact, several reports of attacks carried out by suspected NPA guerrillas in several parts of Mindanao in the last few days have been recorded.
Dureza said the ceasefire “set in place to provide an enabling environment for the ongoing peace talks.”
“We do not wish to unnecessarily squander those gains that even saw President Duterte exercising strong political will to move the peace process forward,” he said.
The peace adviser suspected that some NDF leaders were not in control of their forces in the ground.
“Either some in the National Democratic Front (NDF) leadership talking to the government are not in full control of their own forces on the ground, or they are themselves undermining these efforts for sustainable peace, or pressuring government for certain concessions,” he said.
Dureza said the President was serious on his vow to achieve lasting peace in the country.
“But our counterparts on the other side of the peace table must also reciprocate accordingly and do the same,” he said.
The Philippine government and the NDF resumed the hold third round of peace talks in Rome in January. CDG
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