More local revolutionary groups reject the government’s localized peace talks scheme, further accusing President Rodrigo Duterte of insincerity in negotiating to resolve the civil war raging in the country.
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Duterte’s home region of Southern Mindanao said it too rejects the President’s localized peace talks plans as “nothing but a hollow attempt to draw a veil over the ravages of Martial Law in Mindanao and the escalating bloodbath of Oplan Kapayapaan affecting millions of civilians in the country.”
“The idea of peace negotiations that are ‘nationally orchestrated, centrally directed and locally supervised and implemented’ is but a smokescreen to obscure the fact that Duterte has never been serious in addressing the root causes of the Filipino people’s armed resistance and is only predisposed in the complete capitulation of the revolutionary movement,” NDFP-Southern Mindanao Region in a statement Sunday said.
In Southern Mindanao, particularly in Duterte’s home town of Davao City, New People’s Army (NPA) forces have declined all “invitations” for localized peace talks, NDFP-SMR said.
Similar offers made by Davao City mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte have also been declined by the NPA who told the local executive to better direct her “gestures” at supporting the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines)-NDFP negotiations instead.
“All Red commanders and fighters of all units of the New People’s Army in the country are behind their national leadership in supporting the negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP panels in a foreign venue,” NDFP-SMR said.
The NPA’s Venerando Villacillo Command (NPA-VCC) in Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces also said over the weekend that localized peace talks will not resolve the root of the armed conflict.
“Only the 5th Infantry Division [of the Philippine Army], armed state forces, intelligence units, local elite and foreign imperialist capitalists would benefit from localized peace talks,” NPA-VCC said, adding it was Duterte who ended the negotiations through his Presidential Proclamation No. 360 in November 23 last year.
The 5th ID based in Gamu, Isabela province is the lead AFP unit operating in most parts of Northern Luzon.
Rubi del Mundo, NDFP-SMR spokesperson, said the proposed localized peace talk is nothing but a “surrender package” that revolutionary groups reject.
“Despite the overwhelming support for resuming the peace negotiations between the two panels, it is evident that Duterte is adamant in making a circus, a pointless and an expensive one, at the cost of taxpayers’ money and at the behest of his blood-hungry advisers in the US-controlled AFP and the Department of National Defense,” del Mundo said.
Del Mundo added that Duterte also intends to isolate the many local and national politicians who are supportive of the NDFP-GRP negotiations and paint them as anti-peace or communist sympathizers. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)