For the third time, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) cancelled the resumption of formal peace negotiations between them and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) last June 14. This came following four rounds of informal meetings between the panels of both sides. This also developed despite the signing of the two panels of three agreements which sought to hasten the talks. After the cancellation, the NDFP publicized the following agreements: (1) guidelines and procedures towards an interim peace agreement and resumption of formal talks; (2) agreement for a stand down; and (3) timetable for resumption of peace negotiations.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) castigated the Duterte regime for unilaterally cancelling the talks. Jose Maria Sison, Chief Political Consultant of the NDFP, dismissed as “bullshit” Duterte’s explanation that more time is needed to consult the public regarding the agreements.
According to the CPP, the cancellation of the formal peace talks seeks to give way for the military to intensify its offensive attacks against the NPA in guerrilla fronts throughout the country.
The CPP explained that the Duterte regime aims to give the AFP more time to complete its military campaign plan for 2018 of mounting bigger offensives under Oplan Kapayapaan in the hope of crippling the New People’s Army and inducing the NDFP to negotiate a surrender in three to six months.
Proof of this motive is Duterte’s recent meeting with officials of the AFP to determine the status of Oplan Kapayapaan, the CPP said.
In fact, the AFP is already mounting large-scale offensives in guerrilla zones nationwide across the country and is adding more soldiers including the recent recruitment of 5,000 and planned recruitment of 10,000 more troops until the end of the year.
[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the