President Rodrigo Duterte already junked the peace talks with the CPP-NPA over its recent attacks against the Philippine military in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There are no more peace talks to talk about,” the President said in a taped message. “I am not and will never be ready for any round of talks.”
According to the President, the NPAs have no words of honor and continued killing Philippines soldiers who are doing humanitarian missions.
“The NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines have no respect either for their spoken words or in their deeds of killing soldiers who are on humanitarian missions,” he added.
President Duterte also said it was sad that soldiers were killed while accompanying government employees in providing cash assistance.
“It is a sad thing to know na ‘yung mga sundalo ko pinagpapatay [that my soldiers are being killed], while even doing the most honorable task of accompanying the government workers delivering money and food,” Duterte said.
Although saddened by the circumstances, the President indicated that the time would come for the NPAs to take responsibility for their actions.
Duterte scraps peace talks with CPP-NPA
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, meanwhile, supported Duterte’s decision to end peace talks with the rebels.
“Hindi mo talaga mabigyan ng ceasefire ang mga ito [You cannot give them a ceasefire],” he said. He also said that he and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza, along with other members of the security sector, have long recommended scrapping the peace talks.
The NPAs’ recent attack was on Negros Occidental, April 24, the same day that President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to “finish all” and declare Martial Law against the communist rebels.
Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, said police officers and soldiers were conducting an information drive about COVID-19 in Sitio Sicaba, Barangay Gawahon when they clashed with gunmen believed to be members of New People’s Army (NPA) around 8 a.m.
The fight left two soldiers of 79th Infantry Battalion wounded, Pasaporte said. There were no immediate details yet on casualties from among the rebels.