MANILA – There is no hope for peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Ma. Sison, President Rodrigo Duterte said late Monday night.
In a taped public address, Duterte rejected anew the idea of a possible resumption of peace talks with the CPP’s political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF).
He did not elaborate in his speech, but in several instances slammed communist rebels for reneging on their commitment to observe a unilateral ceasefire amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Duterte also cautioned government forces from trusting the word of communist insurgents.
“Be careful because again the NPAs (New People’s Army) are around. Now, there is no longer hope for further talks with Sison,” Duterte said.
He said members of the NPA, the CPP’s armed wing, will not think twice about killing them since they were determined to steal their firearms.
“Mainit masyado ‘yang M16 pati M14 (They’re hot for an M16 and M14. I know that. They are itching to get it from you. That is why be careful,” Duterte said.
Reminding them to stay vigilant, he urged them to kill communist rebels to protect themselves.
“Do not be too confident about it. Pati ‘yang istasyon na nire-raid (Even the station that they raid). They will kill you. And I am telling you, kill them also,” he said.
The CPP-NPA has been listed as a terror organization by the Philippines, United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
In February, Duterte was optimistic that his administration would be able to achieve a lasting peace with the CPP at a “much earlier” time.
However, continued attacks launched by the terrorist communist group against government troops convinced Duterte on April 27 that he would never be ready for another round of peace talks with the CPP.
The CPP, on April 16, extended its declaration of a nationwide ceasefire until April 30 to prioritize the fight against Covid-19.
Duterte, however, did not reciprocate the extension of the government’s truce, which expired on April 15, due to attacks by the communist terrorists.
Earlier, he said he might only be compelled to declare martial rule if the lawlessness of the terror group persists.
Peace talks between the national government and the NDF have been on and off since 1986.
On Nov. 23, 2017, Duterte signed Proclamation 360, which formally terminated peace talks with the NDF.
This was followed by the Dec. 5, 2017 signing of Proclamation 374, which brands the CPP-NPA as a terror group. (ia/PNA)