Various groups urge gov't to continue peace talks with Left

07 February, 2017, 00:50 | Author: Ora Austin
  • MB File — Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a press briefing at Malacañang

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday he has ended the government's six-month cease-fire with communist rebels and ordered troops to prepare for new fighting after the guerrillas lifted their own truce and killed six soldiers in fresh violence. "We have to oppose the war on drugs, because we can not just put an end to the life of people who have made mistakes", she said.

He said he would ask Interpol to issue warrants of arrest against CPP members living overseas, including their founder Jose Maria Sison.

Pimentel said other countries that are going through an armed conflict have not ceased conducting peace talks. Resuming talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People's Army, and Muslim rebel groups was one of his key campaign promises, along with launching a crackdown against illegal drugs.

"Ultimately, it is the people who will suffer from the absence of GRP-NDFP official peace talks", Palabay said.

"They are categorized as terrorists".

Mr. Duterte, in a speech on Monday, called the rebels "spoiled brats" demanding too much from the government and tagged the NPA as a terrorist group. "But they killed freedom and democracy, and will kill the country's economic growth and equity market".

On Sunday, a rebel was killed when his group encountered soldiers from the 76th Infantry Battalion Sunday in Sitio Kalibun Libunan, Barangay Pinagturilan, Sta.

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The group, according to 1st Lt. Xy-zon Meneses, 2nd Infrantry Division spokesman, was the same band of rebels that attacked a security detachment in Nasugbu, Batangas on January 31, when the ceasefire was still in effect.

Clashes between government troops and rebels were also reported in Barangay Hinimbangan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte; in Barangay Cabatangan, Lambunao, Iloilo; and in Sitio Bantolinao, Barangay Amutag, Aroroy, Masbate, on Saturday, but no casualties were reported. He also said he'd be happy to "kill more" if necessary.

He also reiterated that he would not give in to their demands that he release all political prisoners.

"Guerra na lang! Peace may not be possible within our generation", Duterte said in Malacañang. "Duterte imprudently declared his bloody war against drugs without carefully studying and analyzing the drug problem in the land; without meticulously and judiciously planning on how best to implement or execute the resolution; without thoroughly planning for the aftermath of his campaign and without reviewing and critiquing the outcome of the project". "But from six, it became 18, and now they want 400", the President said.

However, "Even if they're still [in Oslo] and can't be arrested, when they come back here they should go back to their detention cell as a sign of good faith", Mr. Aguirre added. They are out on bail and feel they should not be arrested at least until the term of the bail runs out.

The CPP, in a statement, rejected Mr. Duterte's declaration saying, "Having not received any formal notice of termination. we consider as standing the. peace negotiations".

He also pointed out that JASIG, therefore, is still in effect - and that the NDFP political consultants as such are "guaranteed free and unhindered passage in all areas in the Philippines, and in traveling to and from the Philippines in connection with the performance of their duties in the peace negotiations". After he announced he was suspending peace talks.

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