DAVAO CITY, Philippines – If President Rodrigo Duterte has a problem with the New People’s Army (NPA), this could be addressed through peace talks, a spokesperson of a progressive group said on Sunday, November 19.
Renato Reyes Jr., secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), said that the resumption of the stalled peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the government is the “best” solution to all the issues that Duterte have with the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
“All the issues Duterte against the NPA are best addressed through the peace talks. He knows who he needs to talk to,” Reyes said.
Reyes’ issued a statement following Duterte’s pronouncement that he is no longer inclined to resume the peace talks with the communists while branding the NPA as “terrorists.”
On November 18, the President took a swipe against the NPA, hinting a possibility that peace talks may still be in limbo.
“I am tired of seeing properties destructed, equipment burned, and the killing of innocent people, and there’s even a four-month old (baby) involved,” Duterte said in Filipino, referring to the armed group’s atrocities.
When asked by a reporter about the slated resumption peace talks, he said: “No, I am not anymore inclined to.”
The President is also planning to issue a proclamation that would declare the NPA as criminals and not a legitimate rebels.
But Reyes said that Duterte’s orthodox style of tagging NPA as terrorists “would not accomplish anything, only intensified attacks on the people.”
He also responded to the President’s threats against Bayan and political dissenters.
“It is such a Marcosian mindset. Duterte’s threat of a crackdown is intended to eliminate the most effective resistance to fascist dictatorship, human rights abuses, anti-people economic impositions and increased US intervention,” he pointed out. (davaotoday.com)Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Communist Party of the Philippines, New People's Army, rodrigo duterte