DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said efforts to conduct localized peace talks are bound to fail.
In a statement on Thursday, November 2, the CPP said the entire New People’s Army is united under its central leadership and all units of the NPAs “support the Negotiating Panel of the NDFP in its representation of all revolutionary forces” in negotiations with the government to forge agreements that seek to address the roots of the armed conflict.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte created the localized peace committee called Davao City Peace Committee or DC Peace to talk with local leaders of the NPA operating in Davao City.
In a press conference here on Tuesday night, October 31, President Rodrigo Duterte said he supports the localized peace talks initiated by his daughter. He also called on the NPAs to surrender to the government and promised them housing and livelihood.
“Mag-surrender na lang kayo ngayon at ibaba ninyo ang inyong baril o i-surrender ninyo (Just surrender now and lay down your firearms),” he said.
The CPP said they received reports that the military in the Eastern Visayas are also pushing for localized peace talks.
According to the CPP they are rejecting the idea of the localized peace talks and described the President as having “a very shallow appreciation” of the social problems in the country that causes the people to take up arms.
“The Duterte regime is wasting time and the people’s money in setting-up these useless local peace committees which will go nowhere and achieve nothing,” it said.
The CPP added localized peace talks are “mere rehashes of worn-out psywar surrender programs such as the ‘balik-baril program’ and the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) riding on the popular clamor for peace talks.”
Instead of pushing for localized talks, the CPP said the government should agree to resume the fifth round of the peace negotiations with the communists that was stalled since May this year. The fifth round of talks is set to discuss the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms which are described by Parties as the “heart and soul” of the negotiations.
The government refused to participate in the peace talks citing the continued offensives by the NPAs. (davaotoday.com)