Sunday, January 5, 2020

Palace to CPP: Shun violence before we start talks

From the Manila Bulletin (Jan 5, 2020): Palace to CPP: Shun violence before we start talks (By Genalyn Kabiling)

The communist rebels must lay down their arms and shun violence before the government resumes the peace negotiations with them, a Palace official said recently.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panel (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, the government has walked an “extra mile” on the peace process and that the rebel group must also show its sincerity. He said the rebels must stop committing “murder, rape, extortion and destruction of public infrastructure and private properties.”

“The Duterte administration is sincere in ending the long-standing insurgency in the country by remaining open to the resumption of peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDFP (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army- National Democratic Front of the Philippines). It has walked the extra mile in the peace process,” he said in a recent interview with the Manila Bulletin.

“The only condition the government wants is for the CPP-NPA-NDFP to demonstrate genuine sincerity by laying down their arms and shun its acts of violence, which include murder, rape, extortion, and destruction of public infrastructure and private properties,” he said.

The President recently raised the possible revival of peace talks with the communist group after deploying Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to talk with communist leader Jose Maria Sison, currently living in exile in the Netherlands.

He then challenged Sison to come home for a one-on-one talk with him. The Palace assured that Sison would not be arrested if he returns home.

The communist leader reportedly said he was ready to hold talks with Duterte only in a country near the Philippines after the approval of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms.

The two sides earlier agreed to implement a ceasefire during the holiday season.

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