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.