Philippines: President Terminates Peace Negotiations With Communists

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In a statement, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the President signed Proclamation 360 Thursday afternoon, declaring the termination of talks with the National Democratic Front-Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army.

Peace negotiations with the leftist rebels were suspended in 2011.

Described by some observers as the "farthest advance" in the often-tumultuous peace negotiations, the fifth round was kept under under wraps to prevent possible spoilers from hobbling the peace talks.

He scored the President for citing recent hostilities between troopers and guerillas as "false basis for slandering the revolutionary forces and threatening the termination of the peace negotiations and the outlawing of the revolutionary forces and legal democratic forces as terrorists".

"As it was shaping up during our talks, I already noticed the trend of the thought of the other side and when I summed it all, reading from all previous working papers, it would sound like a coalition government", he said. I said it will not come during our generation.

Seventeen NDF consultants were freed from imprisonment when Duterte launched talks with the communists previous year. I know that even the legal fronts are terrorists.

"I am ordering those I have released temporarily to surrender or face again punitive actions".

He implied that the President is aware that negotiations were taking place in Oslo when he chose to issue Proclamation No. 360. "But we will also go on the offensive", he said.

The NDF blamed Duterte for the failure of the peace talks.

MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte has formally terminated the government's peace negotiation with the communists, his spokesman announced on Thursday, November 23.

In a speech before the scout rangers in San Miguel, a town north of Manila, Duterte said he had freed up to 40 detained communist leaders to show that his administration was honest in talking peace with the insurgents.

It's about time as well that the NPA show its sincerity to attain the peace that we have all been clamoring for and the peace all Filipinos so deserve.

Sison in response, said that the communist movement has no choice but to intensify the protracted battle to topple the Duterte administration. Since the start of the war, more than 40,000 people have been killed.

"Duterte's bloodlust and mania for mass murder are boundless". Dureza said Wednesday he had informed Norway of Duterte's decision.

Over the weekend, the President said he was no longer inclined to resume peace talks with the communist group, whose members he branded as "terrorists" and "criminals".

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"His wild tryrannical dreams will suffer the same fate of the Marcos dictatorship", he warned. "Let's just go to war", Duterte added Tuesday, referring to rebel leaders living in European exile.

At present, the military estimates the communist rebels at around 4,000.

Padilla estimated there were 3,800 active NPA rebels throughout the country.

"GRP officials in his Cabinet and the reactionary armed forces should consider whether he is mentally fit for his office or needs to be replaced in accordance with their 1987 Constitution", he said.

"We will treat you as a criminal, period".

The drafts include significant reforms pursued by Duterte's administration, including the free distribution of land to tillers. But he said he was still hopeful that this would turn out to be a temporary setback.

Duterte's proclamation "will pave the way for their rearrests because they were only released for the period of the formal talks".

Among the high-profile NDF consultants freed were CPP Chairman Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma Tiamzon, the CPP's Secretary General and toop NPA commanders Tirso Alcantara and Allan Jazmines.

He said he could no longer talk to the rebels because of their attacks against innocent civilians and their efforts to forge a coalition government.

Focused military operations will be enforced especially in Mindanao where martial law was ordered by Duterte in May following the siege by Islamic State-linked Maute terrorists of Marawi City in Lanao del Sur.

The opposition Liberal Party expressed concern over the cancellation of peace talks.

Kapayapaan, an alliance of advocates for a just peace, said "these constitute a complete turnaround from his avowed policy of talking peace with the CPP-NPA-NDFP to end the close to five decades of armed conflict in the country by negotiating much-needed socio-economic and political reforms".

A lawmaker from a rebel-infested area on Friday proposed the holding of localized peace talks with communist rebels.

Sison lamented Duterte's nearly daily rant against the CPP and the NPA "in connection with recent incidents in the armed conflict".

The Mayor added that "the pronouncements of the President were only verbal".

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