Duterte terminating peace talks, Joma says.

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands—The Rodrigo Duterte government is no longer interested and has practically terminated its peace negotiations with the Left, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison said.

Replying to Duterte’s statements he is terminating the talks, Sison said the Manila government is now only bent on the surrender and pacification of the revolutionary forces and the people.

“It is not interested in social, economic and political reforms,” Sison said.

In his speech before soldiers in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay yesterday, Duterte said he is not keen on accepting NDFP’s offer for the NPA to fight with government troops against terror groups in Mindanao.

“I don’t know but I’m not so keen about it. Anyway, it’s a show of goodwill…It’s either we continue to talk about peace but we have to stop fighting,” Duterte said.

“I will not allow any talks on my behalf or ako kasi ang nandoon si Dureza pati si Bello. I will not allow them or authorize to go back to the negotiating table without them signing a document, unilateral kanila, they say that they would stop fighting,” he added.

In Malacañan last June 1, Duterte also said he terminated the negotiations.

“No more talks. And I have been saying it time and again, we have been fighting this war for 50 years. I’m asking now, the communists, are you ready to fight another 50 (years)?” Duterte said.

Duterte’s latest tirades came after his negotiating panel announced it “will not participate” in the fifth round of talks without a signed bilateral ceasefire agreement with the NDFP.

The GRP also demanded that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) rescind its order to the New People’s Army for more military operations against government troops in light of Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

The NDFP Negotiating Panel said the cancellation of the round was the decision and responsibility of its GRP counterpart.

“The GRP or Duterte cannot order the NDFP Negotiating Panel to just issue a unilateral ceasefire declaration without a panel-to-panel discussion on what the ceasefire declarations by both sides mean. He is now saying the NDFP should declare a ceasefire on its own, which is crazy,” Sison said.

“The revolutionary movement can never agree to a surrender and pacification scheme under the guise of a protracted and prolonged ceasefire that is one-sided and lays aside the demands of the people for social, economic and political reforms,” he added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)