Peace talks with the Reds are over for now — Palace » Manila Bulletin News



By Roy Mabasa

Insofar as Malacañang is concerned, the peace talks with the ‘Reds’ are over for now.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque today said all the National Democratic Front (NDF) should do is get a copy of the proclamation issued by President Duterte officially terminating the peace negotiations.

This file photo taken on July 30, 2017 shows guerrillas of the New People’s Army (NPA) in formation in the Sierra Madre mountain range. (AFP Photo / Noel Celis / Manila Bulletin)

“Whether or not they will be given a formal letter of termination, to me, that would be superfluous,” Roque said, adding that sending the NDF a copy of the proclamation is “too legalistic approach.”

On November 23, President Duterte signed Proclamation 360, formally terminating the peace negotiations with the communist rebels and directed the Government of the Philippines (GRP) panel to cancel peace talks and meeting with the NDF-CPP-NPA.

Roque insisted that with the issuance of such order, the cessation of peace talks is permanent for now.

“We have to shut the doors for now to any ongoing peace talks. I am not in a position to say that the door will forever be shut,” he said.

Roque maintained that the government needs to see sincerity on the part of the communist side. “The ball is in the court of the CPP-NPA. Show the requisite sincerity and the President might just consider. But for now, no more peace talks,” he said.

On whether the government will declare a truce in the spirit of the holiday season, Roque said it is up to the President to make such a call, noting that the peace talks is a separate issue from whether or not the President will declare a Suspension of Military Operations (SOMO).

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