Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s formal declaration to identify Communist Party of the Philippines (CCP) and its armed wing, National People’s Army (NPA) as a terrorist organization, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Thursday still expressed optimism that peace talks between the government and the communist rebels will soon continue.
“I hope this terror tag on CPP-NDF is just a hiccup or a negotiating tactic in the peace process. I am still optimistic that peace talks between the government and the CPP-NPA will soon resume and prosper under cooler situation,” he said.
“I believe that peace negotiation should be exhausted to bring the armed conflict to a permanent and just closure,” the senator added.
Escudero also reminded the police and the military to strictly observe the provisions of the Human Security Act (HSA) of 2017 or “an act to secure the state and protect people from terrorism” in the conduct of their operation fighting NPA rebels.
“Any offense committed under HSA necessitates stronger evidentiary requirements. You can’t just file murder, illegal possession of firearms or any non-bailable offense. Government has to follow and adhere to the stringent requirements provided by the law, and these requirements carry corresponding penalties against violators,” Escudero said.
Earlier, Duterte also signed the proclamation which formally terminates peace talks with the communist rebels saying that the communist party “have failed to show their sincerity and commitment in pursuing genuine and meaningful peaceful negotiations.”