Localized peace talks, different tact to attain peace: Palace

MANILA -- The administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte is trying a different tact to attain peace through localized peace engagements, Malacañang said Saturday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison seems to have no control over communist rebel forces in the Philippines.

"The administration still seeks peace. We are just trying a different tact by localizing the peace talks as the concerns of rebel groups vary from one locality to another, especially so that Mr. Sison appears not to have control over the communist forces on the ground," Panelo said.

He dismissed Sison's claim that Duterte is like an “old broken record" and never gets tired of repetitively terminating peace negotiations between the government and communist rebels.

"The latest statement of CPP founding chairman, Jose Maria Sison, is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. If as Mr. Sison says the President sounds like a broken record, the cantankerous steak chieftain of the National Democratic Front is like an echo with his repeated criticisms of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and this administration to stay politically relevant in the Philippines while maintaining and lapping up his lavish lifestyle in Europe," Panelo said.

He cited the importance of explaining to the people where Duterte is coming from and why he officially announced the permanent termination of talks between the government and the CPP.

"Unlike Mr. Sison who has prolonged the peace process so he can milk the situation and continue freeloading in the Netherlands, as well as enjoying the donations and grants by socialist organizations to his group, President Duterte has tread the path that his predecessors did not dare take to achieve genuine peace," Panelo said.

The CPP - New People’s Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) must first demonstrate genuine sincerity in the peace process by laying down arms and shunning acts of violence, which include murder, rape, extortion, and destruction of public infrastructure and private properties if they want peace negotiations to resume.

"Until such demonstration of sincerity, the localized peace talks shall be given impetus," he said.

Duterte on Thursday officially announced the permanent termination of the peace negotiations with the CPP-NPA-NDF.

The President mentioned the government's preference for localized peace engagements. (PNA)