NEWS RELEASE | July 17, 2018
Recently, Malacañang announced an upcoming executive order on “localized peace talks” as a substitute to the Duterte-sabotaged formal negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
“This is additional evidence exhibiting Duterte’s true intentions of pursuing total war against the Filipino people instead of genuine and lasting peace,” said Hope Bondoc, NDFP Central Visayas spokesperson.
“Duterte has long been anti-peace. His engagement of peace negotiations with the NDFP was mere dilly-dallying to buy time until he can consolidate his regime,” she added.
The GRP and NDFP peace panel achieved 4 rounds of peace talks before Duterte called off the 5th round through Presidential Proclamation 360 last November 2017. The following month he issued PP 374 tagging the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA) and its supporters as terrorists. The Department of Justice then came up with a terrorist proscription petition red-tagging 656 individuals as CPP-NPA officers and members.
With his rising unpopularity and intensifying blows delivered by the NPA, Duterte was forced to give in to backchannel talks. But he had no intention of consummating the 5th round where the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms was to be tabled. His Cabinet’s security cluster made sure of that. He canceled saying he “wanted to engage the public before working out agreements with communist leaders” contrary to the Filipino people’s deafening call for the resumption of GRP-NDFP peace talks. Duterte now plans to resurrect “localized peace talks” despite being proven fruitless in the past regimes while setting unacceptable conditions for the resumption of formal peace negotiations.
“After two years of hypocrisy and US prodding, Duterte escalates his total war against all hindrances to his dictator ambitions. He babbles on about peace and love of country. Yet, he instigates spates of killings, human rights violations, massive corruption and foreign aggression. But the Filipino people who are suffering under his regime cannot be fooled any longer,” said Bondoc.
The NDFP Central Visayas expressed its unwavering support to the NDFP Negotiating Panel in the GRP-NDFP Peace Talks and NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison. It strongly condemned Martial Law in Mindanao and forewarned of Duterte’s gimmicks to facilitate nationwide military rule.
“The rage of the Filipino masses holds Duterte and his cohorts’ doom. The revolutionary movement is resolute in uniting the people against a tyrannical and puppet regime. Beyond Duterte’s overthrow, the expanding revolutionary forces, with the CPP’s leadership, will work toward achieving agrarian reform and national industrialization. Thus laying the ground for a just and lasting peace,” she added.