Davao City mayor opposes revival of peace talks with Reds
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his decision to reopen the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army.
In a statement Friday, the President’s daughter questioned the sincerity of the CPP-NPA-NDFP in talking peace with the government.
“Insurgency problem can only be ended peacefully" if the CPP-NPA-NDFP are "sincere, honest, and committed to working toward the direction of peace and reciprocate the gesture offered by the government,” she said.
Currently, she said there are still no indications that the rebel group is willing to negotiate for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Based on history, she noted the leftist rebels could not be trusted as they have consistently showed their "deep-seated proclivity to sow hate, violence and extremism, destruction, and senseless killings."
“These are groups motivated by the desire to overthrow the government and rule the nation,” she said.
“For them, peace is not an option. And that’s because they are terrorists,” she added.
Duterte-Carpio said Davao City maintains its position of not negotiating with terrorists, but deal with them the way they should, "tough, strong, high intensity, and one that gathers all sectors to completely crush their influence in communities where they are present."
She recalled the atrocities that the NPA rebels had perpetrated, resulting to the death of civilians and government forces, and even destruction of heavy equipment used for the construction of government projects.
“We should put a stop into the insanity of these terrorists ? or more children will be orphaned, more civilians will be killed, more soldiers will die, and many more facilities and equipment will be burned, setting back development by a hundred years,” she said.
“If talks are revived, we are almost certain that the NPAs will continue to terrorize government forces and civilians. They will discharge offensives and unabated destruction, while recruitment of minors, farmers, lumads, workers, and students would continue courtesy of its legal fronts,” she added.
Duterte-Carpio urged the public to stop rewarding the terrorists with attention, resources, and time.
“Suspending the peace talks would not only mean ending the delusion of these terrorists, but would also allow the realization of long-delayed growth and the development of our countryside villages,’ she explained.
By doing this, Duterte said it gives justice to the victims of these terrorists.
“While I trust the wisdom of the President and his intention to end the insurgency problem peacefully, I believe pursuing peace talks with the NDFP-CPP-NPA is counterproductive and plainly useless," she said.
She said the country will move forward if the government is able to eliminate the rebels and end the senseless rebellion.
“Just like a battered lover, there is a time to finally say no to pain and suffering. No to peace talks,’ she said.
The Davao City mayor made the statement after Duterte ordered the revival of peace talks with the communist rebels. Ella Dionisio/DMS