Government peace talks with CPP-NPA-NDF begins today

admin   •   August 22, 2016   •   3187

Government peace talks with CPP NPA NDF begins today

OSLO, Norway — The formal peace negotiation between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines in Olso, Norway begins today and will run until August 26.

Both parties are hoping to end the four decades of atrocities between the government and the rebel group.

Beginning midnight of August 21, the unilateral ceasefire declared by the government has taken effect and the offensive operations of government security forces against the rebel groups have been deferred as directed by President Duterte in respect to the peace process.

This was announced before the departure of the government peace panel headed by presidential adviser on the peace process Secretary Jess Dureza on Saturday bound for Norway.

“I am pleased to announce that President Rodrigo Duterte has restored the effects if the unilateral ceasefire with CPP/NPA/NDF effective 12 midnight tonight, 21 August, 2016. The duration of the ceasefire will last for as long as necessary to bring peace in the land and also in order to provide an enabling environment for the success of the peace negotiations that will start in Oslo, Norway on August 22,” he said. (ROSALIE COZ/UNTV News and Rescue)

EUA on Pfizer vaccine won’t be revoked yet despite Norway deaths, DOH says

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The emergency use authorization (EUA) issued last week by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to drug-maker Pfizer-BioNTech for its COVID-19 vaccine will not be revoked yet pending an investigation into claims that it caused the death of some elderly people in Norway, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Norwegian authorities are still looking into reports that 23 individuals aged 75 to 80 with underlying health conditions died after getting inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.

Vergeire also said that studies need to be done on the matter.

“Pfizer has to submit a report to the Philippine Food And Drug Administration regarding this matter. Once we evaluate the report, base sa kanilang conclusion, that’s the time FDA can decide on the EUA of Pfizer. For now,” Vergeire said.

“Hanggang wala pang sufficient evidence that it was caused by vaccines, status quo tayo on this EUA given to Pfizer,” she added.

The FDA granted EUA to Pfizer last January 14, the first out of four applications it received so far. Other applications are AstraZeneca, China’s Sinovac, and Russia’s Gamaleya Institute.

FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said they are still awaiting a report from Norwegian authorities and that they will “revise the conditions of the EUA as needed,” before starting vaccinations as part of the agency’s protocols on the use of vaccines.

Health authorities also reiterated that COVID-19 vaccines will go through stringent evaluation before it can be approved for use in the country.

“Aside from the safety, and the efficacy na meron ang mga bakuna na papasok, titingnan din nila iyon pong social impact nito, titingnan nila ang affordability and titingnan nila sa response ng equity,” Vergeire said.

“They will be evaluating and then they give their recommendation to the Secretary. Kapag positive ang recommendation, we can procure the specific vaccine,” she added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

PNP seizes alleged NPA arms cache in Palawan

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Joint operations conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yielded the recovery of an alleged New People’s Army (NPA) weapons cache in northern Palawan.

In a statement on Tuesday, PNP chief Police General Debold Sinas said troops from the PNP-Special Action Force’s (SAF) 101st Special Action Company, Police Regional Office 4B (PRO4B) and the military recovered high-powered firearms and war materials in the area of Sitio Lanka, Barangay Bintuan in Coron, Palawan around 4 a.m. on Saturday, January 9.

Among those seized were two M-16 assault rifles, four rifle grenades, magazine assemblies, a bandolier and 184 rounds of M-16 ammunition.

Sinas said the operation stemmed from actionable intelligence gathered by government troops regarding the whereabouts of the NPA’s cache of firearms and war materials in the said area.

“The continuous operations of our troops have resulted to the NPA’s weakened state. The latest confiscation of this cache of high-powered firearms further incapacitates their key operatives,” Sinas said.

The PNP chief  also commended the SAF in its successive efforts implementing the President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70, which aims to end local communist armed conflict.

The rifles will be subjected to procedural ballistics examination to determine if these had been used in previous crime incidents, the PNP said.

Alleged NPA rebels killed in Rizal part of Joma Sison’s ‘death squad’, DILG says

Robie de Guzman   •   January 5, 2021

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison

MANILA, Philippines – The five suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) killed in a shootout in Baras, Rizal in December 2020 were part of the death squads allegedly deployed by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Tuesday.

Año said the slain group of rebels were deployed in Southern Luzon to assassinate top national and local government leaders, and police and military officers over “blood debts.”

“We can now confirm that the five NPA members killed in Barangay San Juan, Baras, Rizal were part of a death squad that was supposed to carry out the directive of Joma Sison to assassinate government and civilian leaders,” the DILG chief said in a statement.

“Isang tagumpay para sa atin na napigilan ang mga ganitong mga operasyon ng NPA lalo pa’t ito’y isang tuwirang pagbabanta sa buhay ng mga pinuno ng bansa at maging ng mga sibilyan,” he added.

The shootout allegedly occurred as government troops were about to serve a warrant of arrest against Antonio “Dads” Cule for frustrated murder charges issued by the Regional Trial Court branch 65 in Infanta, Quezon Province.

Cule was tagged as the finance officer of an NPA unit that collected revolutionary taxes in Southern Tagalog.

CPP Central Committee Information Officer Marcos Valduena earlier said that “there is a standing order for the NPA to form partisan teams to meet out punishment against enemy units and officers who have committed bloody crimes against the people.”

Año said Sison’s move to deploy communist death squads to urban areas “intends to bring the NPA’s reign of terror in the countryside to the cities. “The PNP and AFP will do its utmost to protect the people from these terrorists in sheep’s clothing. We will crush these urban terrorist cells before they can begin their reign of terror,” he said.

The DILG chief urged the Commission on Human Rights and even the so-called Makabayan Bloc to condemn the deployment of NPA death squads in urban areas to prove that they are truly not members or fronts of the Communist Party.

He said that assassinations perpetrated by the NPA Death Squads are clearly extra-judicial killing “which the CPP is now bringing to the urban areas after decades of perfecting armed terrorism in the mountains.”
Año said the supposed deployment of NPA partisan units is a “clear and convincing proof that the Anti-Terrorism Council did the right thing in designating CPP and NPA as ‘terrorist organizations.’”

“Ngayon ay hindi na nila maikakaila ang kanilang tunay na kulay at motibo. Sila ay mga terorista na kailanman ay hindi naghangad ng kapayapaan kundi ang maghasik ng kaguluhan, pumatay ng mga puwersa ng gobyerno, para pabagsakin ang gobyerno,” he said.

In the 1980s, the CPP-NPA first deployed its “sparrow units” in urban centers and murdered hundreds of policemen, military officers, and civilians in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, and other areas to speed up its protracted people’s war, sow chaos, and bring down the government, the DILG said.

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