Lorenzana says Communists used ceasefire to "consolidate"
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana enumerated why he strongly recommended the termination of the peace negotiation with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-New People’s Army (NPA)-National Democratic Front (NDF).
Lorenzana said his reason includes a plan of the communist group to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We found out that during the last unilateral ceasefire covering the period 2016 until Jan 2017, the CPP-NDF held the largest and the 2nd People’s Congress in Oct-Nov 2016 and the Central Committee Plenum on Dec 2016. During these two occasions, they crafted a three-year plan to advance the revolutionary movement that included the planning for the oust Duterte movement if PRRD ( President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) will not agree to a coalition government,” Lorenzana said in a statement issued on Sunday night.
“By January 2017, the National Military Commission of the CPP-NPA reinforced the earlier plenum agenda. Using the lull in the fighting because of the ceasefire they were able to consolidate, recover their lost ground/mass base and expand their influence,” he noted.
“On May 2017, the CPP-NDF-NPA formally launched the oust Duterte operation to culminate on Oct 2018,” he added.
“Based on the foregoing deliberate actions of the CPP-NDF-NPA, it is obvious that they are not sincere to talk peace and end the armed conflict. They are employing the revolutionary dual tactics to show semblance of peace but continually conducting violence and terror acts on the ground,” he said.
“The ongoing review of all peace documents and agreements revealed that it lays down the foundation of power sharing towards coalition government. In fact, the GRP panel during the Aquino administration recommended the abrogation of the talks because the panel has come to the conclusion that “we were just being taken for a ride”,” he stated.
“The GRP panel then made serious studies and they believed the NDF panel is not truthful, sincere and honest except to get concessions such as: release of high ranking party members and giving their armed components to recover lost grounds and mass base,” he added.
Lorenzana said the communist group were not able to prove their sincerity as they failed to comply with the preconditions set by the president for the resumption of the peace negotiation.
These include “no coalition government, no arson or attacks, no revolutionary tax or extortion, NPA to stay in a safe areas of their choice and no recruitment or mass mobilization.”
Lorenzana said most indigenous cultural communities (ICC’s) and indigenous people (IP) were not in favor of the implementation of truce between the government and the rebel group.
“Majority of the ICCs/IPs in Mindanao do not want a ceasefire primarily because it means the NPAs will come back to their communities,” he said.
“The IPs also wanted the CPP-NDF-NPA to publicly apologize for their act of crimes and terrorism against the ICCs-IPs for almost 50 years where almost a thousand IPs were murdered by the NPA,” he added.
Lorenzana said the communist group betrayed the government despite chances that were given to them by the president.
“They (CPP-NPA) have been tagged as a terrorist organization locally and internationally. They had their chance to work for peace when Pres. Duterte appointed four of their members to the Cabinet,” he said.
“But they betrayed the government when they used their positions to advance the CPP’s revolutionary movement,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS