Palace bats for per­ma­nent truce with com­mu­nists

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Top Stories -

MALA­CAÑANG on Tues­day, De­cem­ber 4, pushed for a per­ma­nent truce be­tween gov­ern­ment troops and the com­mu­nist in­sur­gents, just days af­ter Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte said he would cre­ate a hit squad that would kill the mem­bers of com­mu­nists’ Spar­row Unit.

“There should be per­ma­nent truce. There should be no blood­shed as far as the gov­ern­ment is con­cerned. It’s about the old­est blood­shed, it’s been 50 years, my God,” Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Salvador Panelo told a press con­fer­ence.

“Let’s end the in­ternecine (strife) among Filipinos,” he added.

On Novem­ber 27, the Pres­i­dent bared his plan to cre­ate an armed group to be dubbed as “Duterte Death Squad” that would be sim­i­lar to the Spar­row unit, the in­fa­mous ur­ban hit squad of the com­mu­nists’ armed wing New Peo­ple’s Army (NPA).

Com­mu­nist founder Jose Maria Si­son an­nounced Sun­day, De­cem­ber 3, that his party would ob­serve a hol­i­day truce de­spite Duterte’s in­tent to form a hit squad against

com­mu­nist rebels. Si­son said the tra­di­tional hol­i­day cease­fire is meant to al­low gueril­las and their fam­ily to “freely en­joy” the 50th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the Com­mu­nist Party of the Philip­pines on De­cem­ber 26.

How­ever, De­fense Sec­re­tary Delfin Loren­zana said in a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view on Tues­day that he would not rec­om­mend the hol­i­day truce with the com­mu­nists, as he noted that they were al­ready pre­par­ing for the cel­e­bra­tion of their 50th found­ing an­niver­sary.

“What we’re do­ing now is we’re try­ing to get a lot of them to sur­ren­der and we al­ready are suc­cess­ful in do­ing that,” the De­fense chief said.

“So kung magka­roon tayo ng truce ngayon at magka­roon na na­man sila ng chance to re­in­force their group, baka mawalan ng gana ‘yung bababa (So if we de­clare a truce now and they would have a chance to re­in­force their group, those who plan to sur­ren­der may lose in­ter­est),” he added.

Last year, the gov­ern­ment forces and the com­mu­nists ob­served cease­fires dur­ing the hol­i­days de­spite the mori­bund peace ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Nev­er­the­less, Panelo said the pos­si­ble dec­la­ra­tion of hol­i­day truce be­tween the Philip­pine troops and the com­mu­nist gueril­las would be tack­led dur­ing Duterte’s meet­ing with Cab­i­net of­fi­cials at the Mala­cañan Palace on Tues­day af­ter­noon.

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