The Philippine government declared the cancellation of all planned meetings with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF), following the mandate of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We are hereby announcing today the cancellation of all planned meetings with the CPP/NPA/NDF in line with President [Rodrigo] Duterte’s directive that there will be no more peace talks with them,” Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said in a statement.
Dureza said there will be no peace negotiations anymore until such time as the “desired enabling environment conductive to a change in the government’s position” is evident.
“Recent tragic and violent incidents all over the country committed by the communist rebels left the President with no other choice but to arrive at this decision,” Dureza stressed.
“This is an unfortunate development in our work for peace. Never before have we all reached this far in our negotiations with them,” he added.
According to the Chief Peace Adviser, the communist rebels have not shown reciprocity to the President despite the fact that he has taken unprecedented steps and has walked the so-called “extra mile” to bring peace.
The Philippine government has expressed its deep gratitude to the Royal Norwegian Government for its strong support. It has also expressed its regrets to their officials for the turn of events.
“Despite this setback (hopefully only temporary), we remain steadfast and undeterred in our unrelenting journey for sustainable and just peace,” Dureza said, “I now call on everyone: “let’s all stay the course together.”
The Department of National Defense (DND), for its part, expressed on Wednesday its support for the decision of Duterte to cancel talks with the communist group.
“The President has had enough of the communist movement’s alleged penchant for double-talk and continued acts of atrocities against the Filipino people,” DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement.
Andolong said they strongly suggest to the NPA to “lay down their arms, surrender, return to society, and be part of the real change” espoused by the national leadership.