The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has rejected President Rodrigo Duterte’s ultimatum for the communists to declare ceasefire first before they can revive the peace negotiations.
“This is an unacceptable. Does Duterte really take the revolutionary forces for fools?” the CPP said in a statement.
It can be recalled that Duterte said the New People’s Army should surrender first before the peace talks can resume.
“There will be no talks until you declare a ceasefire,” Duterte stressed.
The CPP added that the president has “lost all moral ground” to make such a demand, citing the NPA’s declaration of a ceasefire in August, as a response to Duterte’s commitment to release 500 political prisoners through an amnesty proclamation.
“Duterte, however, wasted the goodwill of the NDFP when it failed to fulfill its commitment and took advantage of the NPA ceasefire to deploy his soldiers and conduct military offensives,” the CPP said referring to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
The CPP also said that “in the face of Duterte’s tyrannical rule”, the people clamor for the NPA to mount more tactical offensives.
“Victories of the people’s army inspire resistance amid widespread killings and the climate of fear imposed by the Duterte regime,” the CPP added.
The CPP vowed that the NPA would initiate tactical offensives to make the Duterte administration accountable for thousands of police killings in the drug war; the alleged killing of peasants, national minorities, and youth; military occupation of civilian communities; and the Marawi conflict.
The group insisted that negotiations between the government and the NDFP can proceed and make progress even while the civil war rages.
They added that they remain open to negotiations, however, they said talks will not be fruitful “while Duterte remains obsessed with Oplan Kapayapaan and demanding NPA capitulation.”
“Duterte threatens to wage fifty more years of counterrevolutionary war. By the looks of it, Duterte may not even last his term,” the CPP said. “He has roused the anger of the Filipino people and caused his increasing isolation. The revolutionary movement will surely outlast the US-Duterte regime.”