Rebels reject Duterte cease-fire demand
DAVAO CITY – Communist rebels have flatly rejected demands by President Rodrigo Duterte for them to sign a cease-fire accord, saying, it is tantamount to surrendering to the Philippine Philippine government. government.
The President also threatened to mount an allout offensive against the New People’s Army - and to wage fifty more years of counterrevolutionary war as soon as the crisis in Marawi City is over. Security forces continue to battle local ISIS militants in Marawi and fierce fighting is now on its 5th month and killed and wounded thousands of people, and displaced over 200,000 civilians.
“Duterte’s demand for an NPA ceasefire while the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) conduct all-out war as precondition for peace talks is a demand to surrender. This is an unacceptable. Duterte has lost all moral ground to make such a demand,” the Communist Party of the Philippines said.
Rebel leaders have accused Duterte of reneging on a promise to free some 500 political prisoners and grant them amnesty.
The NPA declared a unilateral ceasefire in August last year - that lasted nearly 160 days - as a response to Duterte’s commitment to free the prisoners, mostly NPA and CPP leaders and members languishing in jails across the country.
“Duterte, however, wasted the goodwill of the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines, CPP’S political wing) when it failed to fulfil its commitment and took advantage of the NPA ceasefire to deploy his soldiers and conduct military offensives,” CPP said and branded Duterte as a tyrannical ruler. “In the face of Duterte’s tyrannical rule and triple war, the people clamor for the NPA to mount more and more tactical offensives. Victories of the people’s army inspire resistance amid widespread killings and the climate of fear imposed by the Duterte regime.”
It said the NPA has launched tactical offensives “to bring to account the Duterte regime and its soldiers and police for thousands upon thousands of “Oplan Tokhang” killings, the successive killing of peasants, national minorities and youths, military occupation of civilian communities, aerial bombings and shelling, the near-genocidal war against the Maranaos of Marawi, arbitrary arrests and detention and so on.”
CPP said as proven in the past peace talks, the negotiations with the Philippine government can proceed and make progress even while fighting continues in the country between the two groups. It said revolutionary forces remain open to negotiations as a means to attain a just and lasting peace even as it wages people’s war, conduct tactical offensives and confront the Us-duterte regime’s Oplan Kapayapaan all-out war.
But it was quick to say that “the negotiations, however, cannot be fruitful while Duterte remains obsessed with Oplan Kapayapaan and demanding NPA capitulation. The Filipino people and their revolutionary forces have waged close to fifty years of people’s war. They do not tire. They are determined as ever to wage revolution because they seek to end the unbearable sufferings of workers and peasants under the oppressive and exploitative system. He has roused the anger of the Filipino people and caused his increasing isolation. The revolutionary movement will surely outlast the Us-duterte regime,” CPP said.
Rebels vowed to continue attacks on military targets after government peace negotiators failed miserably to convince the separatist group to sign a ceasefire accord and pursue talks aimed at ending the decades-old insurgency in the country.
President Rodrigo Duterte trashed peace negotiations with communist leaders and abandoned efforts by his peace negotiators to convince rebels to stop attacks on government and military targets.
New People's Army rebels.