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Reds reject proposals for localized peace talks

Artemio Dumlao - The Philippine Star
Reds reject proposals for localized peace talks

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) yesterday flatly rejected a proposal for localized peace talks raised by a revitalized anti-insurgency task force, saying the scheme is “nothing but a smokescreen” for the military’s psychological warfare and large scale combat operations.

Marco Valbuena, chief information officer of the CPP Central Committee, said it was not surprising for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to take such position because its lifeline depends on it, particularly through the so-called “barangay development program.”

“Military officers, especially at the division and battalion levels, are very supportive of localized peace talks because they will open the opportunity to make money from kickbacks and commissions,” Valbuena said in a statement.

NTF-ELCAC raised the position at its first executive meeting on Friday. In a statement released on the same day, NTF-ELCAC also voiced its rejection of national peace talks with the CPP, saying it would rather have the government offer amnesty to communist guerrillas.

Valbuena said the communist movement “from the Central Committee to its thousands of branches – and the New People’s Army – from the National Operations Command to the front guerrilla units” detests the idea of talking peace at the national level under the Marcos administration.

“The revolutionary movement in the Philippines will continue to wage all forms of struggle, especially revolutionary armed struggle,” Valbuena said, adding that the key “to attaining a just and lasting peace (is) to carry forward the people’s aspiration for national freedom and social justice.”

CPP

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