Joint truce with Reds to ascertain who’s in control of them, says AFP spokesman
A military official said on Sunday that a joint ceasefire agreement would determine if the leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines still have the control over their armed members.
In a radio interview, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said a joint ceasefire agreement would help the government in determining whether they are still negotiating with the right people or they have to change their ways of pursuing lasting peace with the communist rebels.
“That is something that we will know. If we have signed a joint ceasefire agreement with mechanisms and third party facilitators, uninterested parties from other countries, that will be our guide. We will now see who controls the (NPA) members,” Padilla said.
He said if the rebels continue with their atrocities, and the CPP leaders would not be able to stop or control them, it could be a clear indication that the government was talking to the wrong people.
He also said that one of the conditions of President Rodrigo Duterte before resuming peace talks is a signed joint ceasefire agreement.
Padilla added that a unilateral ceasefire is not effective in pursuing a lasting peace since any group can suspend anytime the ceasefire.
“They can just say, we don’t like anymore, no more ceasefire then the fighting resumes and they will use it as an issue on the other party,” he said.
Padilla also said that the military encourages localized peace talks because it would be more responsive on the needs of the other armed members in the hinterlands.
“This can be a solution in a localized level especially on those slum areas,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS