The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Monday warned presidential aspirants of initiating peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy, NTF-ELCAC spokesperson for sectoral concerns, reiterated that communist groups have been classified internationally as terrorist organizations, the reason why candidates should not enter into negotiations with them.
In a television interview over the weekend, Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, answered “yes” to the question on whether they would continue the peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF.
“It is either Vice President Leni Robredo, Mayor Isko Moreno, Senator Ping Lacson, and Senator Manny Pacquiao have no idea about the true nature of these bogus peace talks and are thus ignorant about who it is they are dealing with or that they are indifferent to the grievous consequences of their actions on our people and future generations of Filipinos,” Badoy’s statement read.
“The bogus peace talk is a tool the CPP-NPA-NDF uses in its extensive armory to prolong the protracted war in the countryside with the express goal of overthrowing the government through violent means — but not without first bringing great harm and suffering on our people,” the statement further read.
Badoy said every time the Philippine government engages in peace talks with communist terrorist groups, men in uniform die while recruitment among the poor and the youth remained highly active as they take advantage of the government’s efforts for lasting peace and use the negotiations to protect them.
“During these bogus peace talks, too, were when high ranking members of the CPP-NPA-NDF who committed grave crimes against our people were released and when NPA terrorists roamed freely without any fear of arrest because those bogus peace talks provided protection to these terrorists,” Badoy stated.
Negotiating with communists will give them a semblance of legitimacy and respectability that may enable them to acquire foreign funding.
From the peace talks initiated by the Philippine government in the past, Badoy said the costly lesson learned was that “there is no peace to be had when dealing with terrorists and therefore we must never again negotiate with terrorists. Hence the firm and unequivocal termination of these bogus peace talks by our President”.