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Malacañang tags NPA attack in Iloilo an “opportunistic act”

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, June 19th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has condemned the recent attack of the New People’s Army (NPA) on the municipal police station of Maasin, Iloilo and called it an “opportunistic act”.

The NPA rebels seized the arms, ammunitions and tactical radios of the municipal police.

This was despite the commitment of the government and the leftist groups not to launch offensive attacks against each other while the government has ongoing intensified military operations in Marawi City.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said, “Although the attack was not in Mindanao, the act was opportunistic in nature and disregards the nature of the NDF (National Democratic Front declaration). We ask the NDF to call on their armed comrades on the ground to walk the talk and to show genuine sincerity on the confidence-building measure initiated by the government and their side.” — UNTV News & Rescue

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EXCLUSIVE: Joma says peace talks in Manila ‘will be a big problem,’ denies coming back to PH

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 21st, 2018

CPP Founder and NDFP Chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison

 

UTRECHT, The Netherlands – Communist leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison said he is amenable to President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to resume peace talks between the Philippine government (GPH) and his group in pursuit of lasting peace in the country.

However, the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is adamant that he will not come back to the Philippines for the talks, contrary to reports that he has agreed to return to the country sometime in August this year.

“Kung maaantala ang peace negotiations ng one, two or three months, hindi problema. Pero malaking problema kapag pilitin ni Duterte na sa Manila ang venue,” Sison said in an exclusive interview with UNTV News in Utrecht, The Netherlands on Wednesday, June 20.

Sison insists that peace talks should be done on a neutral ground with the presence of a third party facilitator as stated in The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

He admitted that he is fed up with the peace deal being shuttled back and forth. Still, he said, the communist group tries to understand all the reasons given by  the GPH peace panel for the series of cancellations.

“Kahit na disappointing and frustrating iyong pag kansela, kung postponement lamang ang gusto ng gobyerno ni Duterte at sa neutral venue pa rin gagawin ang peacetalks at ang Royal Norweigan Government pa rin ang third party facilitator, ay walang problema,” he explained.

Sison claims Duterte seems to be unaware of the actions of the government negotiating panel. It would explain, he said, why the President had been flip-flopping on whether or not to resume the peace deal.

“Lalo na ang principal mukhang hindi niya nasusundan ang ginagawa ng mga kinatawan niya. Pero sabi naman ng mga kinatawan niya, wala silang sinasabi at kinikilos na hindi aprubado ng principal nila,” Sison said referring to Duterte and the GPH negotiators.

Despite the uncertainties, the self-exiled leader remains positive that time will come that the two parties will resolve differences and finally end the country’s decade-long communist insurgency. — Cynthia Teruel / Marje Pelayo

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Malacañang insists on holding GRP-NDFP peace talks in PH

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the incoming government peace panel during the formal resumption of peace talks at Oslo, Norway on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. (Photo courtesy: Jesus Dureza’s Facebook account.)

 

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) to be held in the country.

In a press briefing, Malacañang explained that this matter concerns Filipinos, hence it should be resolved on Philippine soil.

The Palace added that instead of spending money for peace negotiations abroad, it should be used in ensuring security and sustaining the needs of the leftist group here.

“There is no need to travel outside the country if we are going to talk about peace.  We are Filipinos and these talks are about Filipinos,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

And if the formal talks push through, Roque believes there is no longer need for a third party facilitator.

The Royal Norwegian government has been mediating the peace negotiations of the Philippine government and NDF peace panels since 2001.

However, the administration is still open to the assistance of other countries that wish to help the Philippines attain lasting peace.

“Any party who wants to help and who has been involved in the process can help, but the point of our president is: why do we have to hold our peace talks in other countries,” said Roque.

Meanwhile, Malacañang denied that the stand-down agreement released by the leftist group over the weekend is an official document.

The deal signed by both panels is to prepare for the supposed resumption of peace talks on June 28th but Roque said it has to be verified.

The government also rebutted the statement of CPP founder Jose Maria Sison who alleged that the military is preparing for an all-out war against the New People’s Army, hence the postponement of the negotiations.

“Absolutely without basis po. You all know what are the activities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines currently.  We have not heard of offensives directed against the CPP-NPA so I appeal to the CPP-NDF to be careful with their public declarations,” said Roque. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Dureza flies to Oslo peace forum; will update Norway on peace talks with Reds

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2018

Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza

 

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary  Jesus Dureza has left for Oslo, Norway on Monday, June 18.

Dureza will attend a peace forum which will be participated by peace negotiators from various countries.

The presidential adviser’s trip aims to share the Philippines’ experiences on peace negotiations and to learn from the experiences of other countries too.

“They try and gather together all the people who are involved in peace negotiations in different countries in the world. That will be a location for us to share experiences, share also mistakes so that we learn from them,” Dureza said.

He is also set to meet with the new Norwegian foreign minister to report the state of the peace negotiations in the Philippines.

He said this is also a chance to thank Norway for its strong support in the Philippines’ efforts in promoting peace between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Norway serves as the mediator for peace negotiations between the government and the CPP-NPA.

Before returning to the country, Dureza will visit and meet the Filipino community in Norway to report the situation of the nation under the Duterte administration.  — Asher Cadapan | UNTV News & Rescue

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