“No more peace talks to talk about”-Duterte

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DAVAO CITY — “There are no more peace talks to talk about,” this was the statement issued by President Rodrigo Duterte Monday night in his opening statement.

On Monday night, when he faced the nation in a televised public address, Duterte said “I am not and I will never be ready for any round of talks as the NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines has no respect either for their spoken words or in their deeds of killing soldiers who are on humanitarian missions,” the President elaborated.

Duterte said, “Again, it is a sad thing to know that ‘yung mga sundalo ko pinagpapatay while even doing the most honorable task of accompanying the government workers delivering money and the food. I am so sad about this development but there will always be a time for reckoning”.

Early on, Duterte warned that he might be compelled to declare martial law in the event that the communist rebels continue to harass government forces bringing food to the people in the countryside.

In Davao region alone, a series of incidents involving attacks of the rebels have been reported and in many instances, they allegedly go to communities to ask for a share of government ration from the people.

Another attack was recentlyreported in Lanao del Sur.

Peace talks with the CPP/NDF/NPA have been on and off since 2016 as Duterte vowed to bring peace in the country especially in Mindanao, but it has always been an exercise in futility.

On Nov. 23, 2017, Duterte signed Proclamation 360 to formally scrap the peace negotiations with the NDF due to the series of attacks launched by communist rebels against the government forces and civilians.

The termination of peace talks was followed by the Dec. 5, 2017 signing of Proclamation 374, branding the CPP-NPA as terror group because of the crimes they allegedly committed “against the Filipino people, against humanity, and the law of the nations.”

In January, Duterte said his government is ready for the possible resumption of talks with the communist party. He said he already formed a new government peace panel that would hold negotiations with NDF consultants for the crafting of a binding peace pact between the two parties.

Duterte has expressed in February his intent for the possible resumption of the talks but the coronavirus pandemic stalled such plan.-NewsLine

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