The Duterte administration stated their condition to resume peace talks a day after the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) expressed its eagerness for a bilateral ceasefire agreement.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said on Monday that the government would allow the resumption of peace talks only if the CPP would discontinue obliging its members to pay revolutionary taxes. This tax, which Abella said to be a form of “extortion”, has to be stopped as one of the “compelling reasons” set to benefit the interest of the nation.
“When ‘compelling reasons,’ as President Duterte earlier announced, are present, then we in government shall take the next necessary steps,” Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said in a separate statement.
Other conditions that the government posed for CPP are: to release the three soldiers, two military men and policemen they have abducted immediately without any restriction, to stop mounting attacks on uniformed men, burning of property and from carrying out provocative atrocities.
President Duterte ordered to end the talks with the communist group two weeks ago when hostilities broke between the military and the CPP’s armed unit, New People’s Army (NPA), and brought casualties.
“While it is understandable that suspicions linger about the motives of the parties on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum, some ‘compelling reasons’ need to be provided for talks to resume,” he said.
“Considering the unprecedented goodwill the President has shown, these actions from (the NDFP) may provide compelling reason and could put at ease, to some extent, the apprehension of the military and the (Duterte) administration,” Abella furthermore said.
On the other hand, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, told the press that the NPA should first corroborate the CPP’s will for a bilateral ceasefire with the government, this time, not through propaganda but with sincere actions. – AGA