Duterte move to stop peace talks with Reds gets bipartisan support
MANILA — President Duterte’s decision to call off further peace negotiations with communist rebels was met with bipartisan support.
Liberal Party Senator Franklin Drilon, head of the minority bloc in the Senate, said he agreed with the President’s decision.
Senator Gregorio Honasan, a member of the Senate majority bloc, accused the National Democratic Front of the Philippines of “bad faith” for not even condemning the latest attack, where a militiaman was killed and four presidential guards were wounded in an encounter with New People’s Army guerrillas in Arakan, North Cotabato, on Wednesday.
“We can not talk and fight at the same time,” said Honasan, a former military rebel leader.
“If you have no control over those who continue to attack government troops and installations, why don’t you condemn these attacks? If you have no control and do not condemn the attacks, why are we talking? This is bad faith. Lokohan ito (The rebels are trying to fool the government),” he added, addressing the NDFP negotiating panel.
Following the encounter in Arakan, Duterte directed the government panel “not to resume formal peace talks unless the Reds agree to stop their attacks against government troops in Mindanao.” SFM
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