AFP backs DND recommendation to end peace talks
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) supports the recommendation of the Department of National Defense to terminate the peace negotiation with the communist group.
“The AFP position, as expressed by the Secretary of National Defense, is direct and unequivocal. We the AFP being part of the DND will recommend to the president to terminate the peace talks with the (Communist Party of the Philippines ? National Democratic Front) CPP-NDF led by Mr. (Jose Maria) Sison,” Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo Tuesday.
Arevalo emphasized that the AFP is not against the peace process.
“Despite our recommendation to terminate the peace negotiation it doesn’t mean that you AFP is against the peace talks. It doesn’t mean we are against peace talks. What we only want, what we want is a peace process that is transparent, genuine and sincere,” he said.
“A peace talk that embodies the desire of our people to put an end to all this fighting so that peace and progress can come in,” he added.
Arevalo said their recommendation is based on the eight reasons announced by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana last Sunday night which includes the communist group’s plan to oust the president.
“The CPP-NDF are not in favor of the peace process, we discovered from the recovered documents and statements of surrenderers the duplicity of Mr. Sison and his ilk, not the peace talks espoused by Mr. Sison and his coterie which is only a ploy for their cadres and militias to do the four acts: regroup, refurbish, recruit and recover lost ground. They are also hatching a plan to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, our commander-in-chief, that will culminate in Oct, 2018,” he said.
“They hatched this plan while the group was in Norway talking to Mr. Sison, Jalandoni, Tiamzon, et al. these communist terrorist does not engage in double talk, they actually want to double cross us,” he added.
“We cannot take chances, if it’s a threat not only to the liberties of our people but also the life of the president, we in the defense department has to take that seriously,” he noted.
Arevalo did not say what is being done by the military to pre-empt the plan of the communist group but he emphasized the AFP will make sure the rebels will not succeed.
“That is operational details, but what we can tell you is we have adopted necessary measures to ensure that they will not succeed. They should not succeed,” he said.
Despite their recommendation to terminate the peace negotiation, Arevalo said the military will still support localized peace talks.
“We say we want peace in the strictest sense of the word and if ever peace negotiations will be held, to clarify our position, we support localized peace talks where local government deals directly with these communist terrorist and their members to be assisted by the AFP and other agencies of government agencies,” he said.
“We are pushing for the localized peace process between the local government and the local the members of the communist terrorist, with this the local issues will be able to address by the local government with the help of the AFP and other agencies of the government,” he added.
It can be recalled that last month, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza announced the suspension of the scheduled resumption of peace talks on June 28.
Dureza said the suspension was ordered by Duterte to get more support from the people by holding public consultations. Robina Asido/DMS