Military drive vs NPA behind cancellation of talks – CPP

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 18 June) – President Duterte cancelled the scheduled resumption of peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to allow the military to continue with its all-out offensive against the New People’s Army until the end of 2018, the Communist Party of the Philippines said on Sunday.

A soldier relaxes after a long firefight against NPA rebels in Makilala, North Cotabato from midnight until dawn Monday (22 January 2018). Three NPAs and a CAFGU member died in the clash. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH CABRERA

“By calling off the scheduled peace negotiations with the NDFP, Duterte aims to give the AFP more time to complete its military campaign plan for 2018 of mounting bigger offensives under Oplan Kapayapaan in the hope of crippling the NPA and inducing the NDFP to negotiate a surrender,” said the CPP.

On Thursday last week, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza announced Duterte cancelled the talks scheduled on June 28-30 with the NDFP in Oslo, Norway because government wanted to hold consultations with stakeholders before forging agreements with the revolutionary group.

Dureza said getting the inputs of stakeholders will ensure that the agreements would have the people’s support.

But the CPP called Duterte’s reason for cancelling the talks “a thin veil that fails to conceal his real aims.”

NDF chief political consultant Jose Ma. Sison. Photo courtesy of NDF International Information Office

It claimed that the president’s decision came “after being briefed on the status of Oplan Kapayapaan in a meeting with the top brass of the AFP and defense officials. Defense Sec.”

“Delfin Lorenzana has publicly announced that the military wants 3-6 more months before Duterte resumes talks with the NDFP,” it said.

“Clearly, Duterte does not want the AFP’s military campaign plan disrupted by the peace talks,” it added.

The NDFP has been negotiating with successive administrations since 1986 for a political settlement of the rural-based, Maoist-oriented armed struggle being waged by the NPA, armed wing of the CPP. (MindaNews)