Roque says ‘ball is in the court of CPP-NPA’ after peace talks termination
The ball is now in the court of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
This was how Malacañang reiterated its stand to terminate the peace talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front (NDF), which represents the communist group in the negotiations.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte has made all possible moves to assure a long-standing peace in the country.
“Hindi na po kasalanan ng Presidente ‘yan. Lahat na po ng hakbang ay ginawa ng Presidente para magkaroon ng matagalang kapayapaan,” Roque said during a press briefing at the Presidential Guesthouse in Panacan, Davao City.
“Hindi na po pwede na ‘yung pagnanais ng kapayapaan ay sa parte lamang ng gobyerno. The ball is in the court of the CPP-NPA (New Peoples’ Army),” he added.
Roque’s statement came four days after the President signed Proclamation No. 360, formally terminating the peace talks with the communist rebels last Nov. 23, due to the latter’s alleged engagement in “acts of violence and hostilities” despite the ongoing negotiations.
“Kasi ‘yung pag-ambush nila, pagtatraydor ‘yan. Pero kung ‘di pagtatraydor, sino nagko-kontrol ng NPA at sino dapat kausapin?” he said, adding Duterte “felt betrayed” by the CPP.
The Presidential spokesman said that, as of now, there is no chance that the government would return to the negotiating table with the communists “until the NPA showed sincerity” for long-tern peace.
“My line has become famous: it is permanent for now. But we can never tell. Becasue remember, the Senate also said that they will be a bridge to backdoor negotiations. But for now, it is closed, the door has been closed until the NPA has shown sincerity that it really is desiring long term peace,” Roque said.
Asked about what would happen to Duterte’s appointees at the Cabinet who are left-leaning, Roque answered: “For as long as they remain in post they enjoy the trust and confidence of the President.
“When they go, then obviously the President had ceased his confidence in them. All presidential appointees hold office at the pleasure of the President,” he added.
Reacting to Duterte’s statement that the government would never coalesce with the CPP, its founder Jose Maria Sison earlier tagged the President as a “big liar.”
“Duterte does not mind being proven a big liar on the question of coalition government. He thinks that he can move on from success to success at political swindling,” Sison said.
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