The supposed resumption of formal peace talks between the government and National Democratic Front peace panel will not push through on June 28 according to Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Jess Dureza.
He said President Rodrigo Duterte has directed them to seek first the consensus of the public and other government sectors on the issue.
“There is a need to engage the public all the more and get their support before we are able to work our certain agreements with the leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines,” said Dureza. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines – Military and police officials on Friday lauded the conviction of Benito and Wilma Tiamzon on charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, calling it a victory for the victims of the communist group.
In a statement, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Major General Edgard Arevalo said the court’s decision is “a victory for the many victims of atrocities of the NPA particularly orders to conduct murder, arson, extortion, ambushes, bombing and the like that they orchestrated.”
“They were convicted ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ by the Regional Trial Court 216 of Quezon City for the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention,” he said.
The Tiamzon couple is believed to be ranking officials of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 216 found the couple guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention. They were sentenced to reclusion perpetua or up to 40 years of imprisonment.
The Tiamzons were also ordered to pay damages and civil indemnity to the complainant amounting to P225,000.
“The AFP will continue to hunt them down after they have violated the provisions of their temporary liberty by virtue of their being nominated as consultants in the peace negotiations with the government. They refused to submit themselves to the government after the peace negotiations did not prosper,” Arevalo said.
He also vowed that the AFP would continue to strengthen its resolve to bring other criminals to justice in honor of the victims of the violence perpetrated by the CPP-NPA.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) called the conviction of Tiamzon couple a triumph of justice.
“It is also another success story on the efficiency of our prosecutors of our investigators who secured the validity of evidence presented during trial. Of course, it is also a manifestation of the sins committed by the communist terrorists against our people,” PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Ilbrandi Usana said in a statement.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año also lauded the conviction of the Tiamzons, recalling the efforts to track down and arrest the couple when he was just a military captain.
“I’m very happy malaki kasi yung hirap ko diyan sa paghuli niyan I was the chief of ISAFP (Intelligence Service of the AFP) when they was arrested in March 2014. I just cannot recall the exact date March 20 or 21, I spent half of my career looking for this couple started I was Captain,” he said.
The couple was arrested in 2014 in Cebu City after many years of hiding. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)
MANILA, Philippines — The series of attacks against government forces on humanitarian missions during this time of crisis is the final straw for President Rodrigo Duterte to end peace talks with the communist rebels.
“I’m so sad about this development but there will always be a time for reckoning. There is no more peace talks to talk about,” the Chief Executive said in his late night address on Monday (April 27).
A number of soldiers were killed and wounded in several encounters with members of the New People’s Army — the Communist Party of the Philippines’ armed wing — throughout the month of April.
Three soldiers died and four others were hurt in an encounter with the NPA while conducting security patrol during the distribution of the social amelioration grant in Sitio Tugas, Barangay Carabalan in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental on April 19.
An Army soldier was also killed in a remote village in San Jacinto town, Masbate province on the same day.
Two soldiers, meanwhile, were killed while three others were wounded in an attack by communist rebels in Aurora province on April 21. The soldiers were stationed in the area guarding the conduct of aid distribution.
Two more soldiers were injured in an attack by NPA rebels in Victorias City, Negros Occidental on April 24.
The Philippine Army said the soldiers, together with members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were conducting a security patrol and information dissemination about COVID-19 in the area.
“I am not and I will never be ready for any rounds of peace talks simply because the NPA, the Communist Party of the Philippines, has no respect either for their spoken works or in their deeds of killing soldiers who are on humanitarian missions,” President Duterte stressed.
But the CPP, unfazed by the President’s warning, responded by accusing him of using the NPA as an excuse ‘to cover up’ the administration’s failed response against the COVID-19 crisis and to carry out his agenda of imposing martial law. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is challenging communist leader Jose Maria ‘Joma’ Sison to return to the Philippines and have a one-on-one talk with him.
The President’s agenda is about the peace process away from the usual Philippine Government-National Democratic Front’s way of doing things, according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
“The President is daring him to come home to the Philippines and have a one-on-one talk with the President,” Panelo said.
“He is asking him to come to the Philippines, there will be no enforcement of any warrant, just come to the Philippines and talk with him,” he added.
Sison, who is on self-exile, is recognized as a political refugee in Utrecht, the Netherlands and enjoys the protection of the Refugee Convention and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Panelo said the Chief Executive wants the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to explain the recent attacks of the New People’s Army (NPA), the group’s armed unit, against government forces in Camarines Sur and Iloilo on the eve of the ceasefire.
“We condemn of course the violations of the ceasefire agreements,” Panelo said.
“We are giving them the chance to explain why it has committed such violations. He (Duterte) will wait for the explanation coming from them,” he added.
Meanwhile, Panelo said President Duterte is considering the request of her daughter, Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte to maintain localized peace talks and exclude the city from the negotiations with the Reds. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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