On Saturday, after CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said the communists are willing to resume talks with the government in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration and other agreements.
AP/Andrew Medichini/File
Palace to Reds: Walk the talk on peace
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - October 22, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang yesterday renewed its call for the Communist Party of the Philippines to support President Duterte’s call for peace after CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison reiterated his openness to resume the stalled talks with the government. 

On Saturday, Sison said the communists are willing to resume talks with the government in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration and other agreements.

He said it would be up to Duterte to end his position of having terminated the negotiations. 

The rebel leader, however, accused Duterte of bribing communists when he offered jobs to New People’s Army (NPA) members who surrendered to the government. 

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the communists must first show genuine sincerity for the resumption of talks.

“The government cannot sit with their leaders in the same negotiating table while the latter’s armed comrades are committing criminal acts and bringing harm to our people. These include the ambushing of our armed forces and innocent civilians while enforcing their so-called revolutionary taxes and destroying the properties of individuals or entities who refuse to give in to their orders,” Panelo said. 

He challenged Sison and his forces “to walk the talk and support the President’s call for conciliation toward the nation’s quest” for enduring peace.

Panelo said the government has been dismayed over what he described as the rebels’ “opportunistic attacks.”

Panelo denied that Duterte’s offer of livelihood was a form of bribery.

He said the sooner the armed conflict ends, the better it is for our country.

Meanwhile, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said Sison’s new offer to resume peace talks is an attempt to relieve the pressure from the rebels, which he said is losing the battle in the hinterlands.

Año said the ambush on the convoy of Food and Drug Administration chief Nela Charade Puno showed that Sison‘s offer to resume the peace talks is pointless.

Malacañang denounced the ambush that killed three police officers and wounded three others in Camarines Sur on Thursday.

Panelo gave assurance that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.

He commended the slain police officers and condoled with their families. 

“We also send our prayers and thoughts for the speedy recovery of the policemen who were wounded during this brazen assault,” Panelo said. 

Año said there is no use talking peace if the rebels keep on sowing lawlessness and terrorism like the Camarines Sur ambush. 

Puno and her staff survived the attack that occurred in Lupi town on Thursday.  – With Cecille Suerte Felipe

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