Sunday, November 26, 2017

Former rebel backs end to peace talks

From the Visayan Daily Star (Nov 25): Former rebel backs end to peace talks

Former rebel leader turned Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano yesterday supported the move of President Rodrigo Duterte for the cancellation of peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army- National Democratic Front.

“It is useless if the policy is talk, talk and fire”, Paduano, who used to be the national commander of the defunct Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade, a breakaway faction of the CPP-NPA, said.

On Thursday, Duterte signed Proclamation 360 ending the peace talks that were restarted last year after being scuttled in 2013.

Church leaders, security and local government officials are united in saying that sincerity is needed for the peace talks to succeed.

If we are talking peace, there should be a ceasefire, not only unilateral but bilateral, agreed on by both parties, Paduano said.

The RPA-ABB and its political wing- Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas founded and chaired by Arturo Tabara, who was later murdered by NPA assassins, entered into peace talks with the government in year 2000.

While the cancellation of peace talk is an executive decision, we have to continue to reach out to the rebels on the ground for reconciliation, Capt. Eduardo Precioso, 3rd Infantry Division spokesman, yesterday said.

In July this year, six policemen died in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, after being ambushed by New People's Army rebels, while peace negotiations were being pursued.

Paduano said he hopes that the CPP-NPA leadership, both national and local, will consider their approach, with regards to peace negotiation with the government, that should be fair and, just, to be conducive to the peace talks.

The NPA in Negros had claimed several killings of civilians suspected to be military informants and two RPA-ABB leaders in Salvador Benedicto and Kabankalan Citty, in previous months.

Maj. Gen Jon Aying, 3ID commander, in reaction to the cancellation of the peace talks, said, “The CPP-NPA-NDF are just fooling us, what they really want is to establish their own government.”

“The talks will not succeed, anyway, they cannot control their forces, some want peace and others don't,” he said, adding that they will await directives from higher authorities.       

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