|04 February 2017|
|From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella on GRP lifting unilateral ceasefire agreement with CPP-NPA|
|President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA today 03 February 2017.
In a speech he made during the launching of Solar Powered Irrigation System Area in Mlang, North Cotabato, he said, “Peace with the communists cannot be achieved in our generation.” He lamented, “I have lost so many soldiers in the past 48 hours, I think to continue with the ceasefire will not produce anything.” The NPA had broken peace, ambushing soldiers at ease some of whom had just received wages when rebels shot and killed them viciously.
An Army officer commented that by doing so the NPA showed “complete disregard for their earlier announcement that they would recall its ceasefire only by 10 February.”
Some progress had already been made during the third round of peace talks in Rome, but apparently there is some disconnect between dissident leaders negotiating at the table and their forces on the ground. It would be deeply regrettable that the otherwise positive developments now might have to be set aside.
Despite the untenable circumstances on the ground, the peace talks have not yet been scuttled. The road to peace is not an easy journey.
|Duterte orders lifting of ceasefire with CPP-NPA|
President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Friday, February 3, that he has lifted the government’s unilateral ceasefire with Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
“Kagabi I decided, I called General [Eduardo] Año and said, ni-lift ko ‘yung ceasefire tonight. Wala ng ceasefire,” President Duterte said in his speech during his visit to M’Lang, Cotabato, for the launching of the M’lang Solar Powered Irrigation System (MSPSIS).
The communist groups have demanded the release of 400 political prisoners, which the President denied.
Duterte also said that he had lost a number of soldiers in the hands of the rebel groups despite the truce.
“I really tried but the demands are just too huge that it is impossible to meet or even work out a compromise,” he said.
“So I really would like to express my sadness. We cannot have a peaceful generation. There will always be fight,” he added.
The President stressed that his decision to release the leaders of communist groups and to resume peace talks with them showed his sincerity and eagerness to end communist insurgency in the country.
However, he said that releasing 400 political prisoners could not be possible since the decision would not only come from him.
“Unreasonable demands…I would have wanted very much, talagang gusto ko — it’s about 50 years in the making. But let it not be said that I did not try. So I guess that peace with the communists cannot be realized during our generation. Maybe years from now,” he said.
“Therefore I’m asking the soldiers, ‘Go back to your camps clean your rifles and be ready to fight.’ I am sorry but that is how it is,” the President said.
From M’Lang, the President proceeded to Kidapawan City to visit the wake of PO2 Jerome Ruefa who was killed from a pursuit operation in M’lang, Cotabato.
He also visited the wounded police personnel from the same pursuit operation: PO1 Angelito Edep and PO2 Joselex Avena who are confined at Kidapawan Medical Specialists Hospital.
He then went back to Davao City to visit the wake of 2Lt. Miguel Victor Alejo at St. Peter Chapel & Funeral Homes in Panacan.
The 26-year-old junior officer from the 67th Army Infantry Batallion was killed in an encounter with members of NPA last Wednesday in Barangay Lambog, Manay, Davao Oriental.
Alejo was with a team composed of police and army soldiers dispatched to respond to reports regarding NPA rebels extorting money in Barangay Rizal.
The troops were waylaid as they were heading for the village, leading to the death of Alejo and the wounding of army Private Jocno Sumatin.###PND
|Palace still open on peace talks|
Malacañan remains open to working for peace through negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) despite recent setbacks.
“Despite the untenable circumstances on the ground, the peace talks have not yet been scuttled,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement on Friday, February 3, adding that the road to peace is “not an easy journey.”
“Some progress had already been made during the third round of peace talks in Rome, but apparently there is some disconnect between dissident leaders negotiating at the table and their forces on the ground,” the Palace official noted.
Abella said it would be deeply regrettable that the otherwise positive developments now might have to be set aside.
In a speech in M’lang, Cotabato on Friday, February 3, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte announced the lifting of government’s unilateral ceasefire with CPP-NPA.
The Chief Executive lamented that he has lost so many soldiers in just 48 hours. “I think to continue with a ceasefire does not or will not produce anything,” he said.
Abella noted that NPA had broken peace and ambushed soldiers with ease some of whom had just received wages when they were shot and killed viciously by rebels.
“An Army officer commented that by doing so the NPA showed ‘complete disregard for their earlier announcement that they would recall its ceasefire only by 10 February,’” the Palace spokesperson said.
For his part, government peace panel chair Silvestre Bello III said the scheduled peace talks on February 22 to 25 will proceed and will tackle the mechanism for a joint ceasefire such as the parameters, definition of terms, and terms of reference.
“Kaya mabuti na kung magkakaroon ng… bilateral ceasefire agreement, para sa ganon, lalo ‘yung mga parameters, lalo ‘yung definition of terms. Ano lang ‘yung mga pwede mong sabihin na paglalabag sa ceasefire,” he said in an interview over state-run DZRB on Saturday, February 4.
Bello also noted that what’s important is “we try to talk, hopefully stop the fighting… permanently.”###PND
All content is in the public domain unless otherwise stated.
Learn more about the Philippine government, its structure, how government works and the people behind it.