Duterte again shuts door on peace talks amid attacks

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  • PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has again shut the door on the peace process with the communist rebels amid their continued attacks on government troops and civilians.

    In a speech during his visit to Jolo, Sulu a day after twin explosions hit a Roman Catholic church in the town, Duterte assailed the communist group’s armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), for attacking military and police personnel.

    “Ganun rin sa NPA. Hindi na ako makipag-usap sa inyo. Eh walang magawa eh. Magpakabuti ka, pasunud-sunuran ka lang, istorya ganun. You practically begged na… ‘Adre mag-istorya lang tayo (Also with the NPA. I will never talk to you. I can’t do anything. You do something good to them you follow their whims, that’s it. You practically begged… Comrade, we are just fooling each other),’” Duterte said.

    “Tapos in return ito ang ibigay ninyo sa akin. Mga kabaong pati iyong mga naputol mga paa. Ay p***** i**. Hindi ako… ‘Di na bale ako makulong pagkatapos nito. Akin lahat ‘yan, akin lahat(Then in return you give this to me: Coffins and dismembered limbs. Son of a bitch. Not me… Never mind if I go to jail after this. That’s all mine, all mine),” he said.

    Duterte made the statement the same day a roadside bomb struck police vehicles in Magpet, North Cotabato.
    A police officer was killed while eight others sustained injuries in the incident believed to have been perpetrated by NPA rebels.

    A firefight between the police and an undetermined number of NPA rebels, led by a certain Commander Alon, ensued after the blast but the insurgents withdrew afterward.

    This came few weeks after the President said he would “leave even a small opening” for the resumption of the peace negotiation as long as the communist rebels won’t demand a coalition government.

    The peace talks between the government and the communist group broke down in November 2017 as the administration cited its continued attacks again state forces despite ongoing negotiations.

    In November 2018, Duterte formally ended the government’s peace talks with the communists and ordered the military to “destroy” the rebel group a month later.

    The government then pursued localized talks with the rebels.

    The NPA rebels have been waging war against the government for the past 50 years, which is considered as the world’s longest-running communist rebellion.

    C. VALENTE, TMT

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