PH Government talks with communists may resume soon – Bello

Robie de Guzman   •   December 11, 2019   •   434

Government’s chief negotiator Secretary Silvestre Bello III (left) and National Democratic Front founding chair Jose Maria Sison (right)

MANILA, Philippines – Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Wednesday expressed optimism that the peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF), the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), will resume soon.

Bello said CPP founder Joma Sison and NDF senior adviser Luis Jalandoni agreed to discuss the possibility of returning to the negotiating table when he personally met them in the Netherlands a few days ago.

Bello, who served as the government’s chief peace negotiator, returned to Manila on Monday.

“I cannot give you any detail on the result of our talks. ang importante nag-usap kami. They are willing to resume the talks,” he said.

Bello flew to the Netherlands last December 5 following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to talk to Sison on the possibility of resuming peace negotiations.

Ties between Duterte and Sison went sour last year after the chief executive accused the rebel group of launching attacks against government forces even while the negotiations are ongoing.

In March 2019, Duterte formally terminated the peace process with the CPP-National Democratic Front of the Philippines-New People’s Army.

Bello said the communist leaders are also open to the president’s conditions to reopen negotiations but details about where, when and how the process will be conducted are yet to be determined.

The labor chief also emphasized that the chief executive did not give up on talking peace with the reds.  

Bello is expected to meet with Duterte later on Wednesday to report about his meeting with Sison. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Four Lumad parents of rescued children taken by suspected communist militants

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Four parents of the rescued Lumad children were taken by suspected communist militants, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

PNP chief PGen. Debold Sinas cited reports that the parents were supposed to meet with the police in Davao del Norte on Monday (February 22) for their trip to Cebu City However, only two parents showed up.

Reports also stated that the four Lumad parents were taken on Sunday (February 21) by suspected organizers of communist front groups who posed as police officers.

“Obviously, these four parents were lured into believing they would be meeting with their children in Cebu when they were taken by persons who disguised themselves as police officers,” Sinas said.

The PNP chief added that the said stunt was a desperate move of communist front organizations to get away from criminal liability of serious illegal detention and child exploitation.

Sinas also assured that police authorities are already exerting efforts to locate the parents.

The Ata Manobo children were among the 19 Lumad minors who were brought to Cebu City by communist front.

Reports indicate that the children were undergoing radicalization and revolutionary warfare indoctrination.

Palace tells AFP: Be prudent in releasing list of persons linked to Reds

Robie de Guzman   •   January 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday advised the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to exercise prudence in disclosing names of individuals tied to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the suggestion after the military drew flak for erroneously identifying some alumni of the University of the Philippines (UP) as supposed members of the NPA.

“Defense Secretary Lorenzana has apologized for mistakes. Let’s leave it at that,” Roque said.

“I can only suggest that they may be prudent para hindi na po napapa-apologize ang ating Secretary of National Defense,” he added.

The AFP Civil-Military Operations Office apologized on Sunday after it posted on Facebook a list of names of UP students who supposedly joined the NPA, triggering complaints over alleged misinformation and inconsistency.

The agency said it has launched an internal investigation on how the list got published and assured that personnel involved will be held accountable. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

AMLC approves freeze order on CPP-NPA related accounts—DOJ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has approved the freezing of bank deposits and other assets of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA), according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In a text message to reporters on Sunday (December 27), DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the AMLC approved the freeze after the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) formally designated the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group.

AMLC Executive Director Mel Racela, meanwhile, clarified that there are no bank accounts directly named under the CPP-NPA.

“There are no accounts under the name of CPP/NPA, but the FO (freeze order) covers the related accounts (RA) of said organization. RA means all accounts opened and maintained for the benefit of said organization, the identification of which the banks and other covered persons will play a very important role,” Racela said.

He also added that the freeze order aims to “deprive designated terror organizations of resources to prevent possible terror attacks.” AAC

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