Palace to CPP-NPA: Show sincerity

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang wants to see the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA) to show sincerity by ending atrocities in the country. 

The Palace made the comment yesterday following National Democratic Front (NDF) peace panel chairman Fidel Agcaolli’s offer for the NPA to help the military fight the Maute group, which has links to the terrorist group Islamic State (IS). The NDF is the political and negotiating arm of the CPP.

In a radio program, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella reiterated President Duterte’s call for the communist rebel group to show sincerity by putting into writing their intent to strike a peace agreement with the government and to stop atrocities while the peace negotiation is ongoing.

“The communists’ gesture may be a sign of goodwill. However, the President is not keen on the offer. They first have to reciprocate the government’s sincerity and cease fighting (while the) peace talks (is ongoing),” Abella said over state-run dzRB.

“They must halt their attacks on government forces…They must end their atrocities and they must stop extortion activities that contribute to our people’s misery,” he added.

In a speech last Friday in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, Duterte said he is rejecting the communist group’s offer although he considers it a “sign of goodwill.”

Duterte also said that unless the CPP and NPA put into writing their commitment to stop atrocities, he would not allow government peace negotiators Jesus Dureza and Silvestre Bello III to push through with the peace talks in Norway.

“The government hopes to see them sign a unilateral ceasefire agreement for us to go back to the negotiating table. Beyond words and gestures and offers, let’s talk concrete action that must be sincere and authentic. Only then can peace have a chance,” Abella said.

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