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12月28日のまにら新聞から

Bello backs Duterte's order to "destroy" communist rebels

[ 412 words|2018.12.28|英字 (English) ]

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Thursday defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to “destroy” communist rebels saying it’s “normal”.

Bello, chief government negotiator with the NDF-CPP-NPA (National Democratic Front-Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army) said the reality is the country is in a state of armed conflict as there is still no peace between government forces and the rebels.

“And if I were the President, I would do everything to crush the rebellion. So that’s normal,” he said in a press briefing in Malacanang.

Duterte ordered the military to "destroy" the Communist rebels on Saturday, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the CPP.

Bello hopes the new tactic chosen by Duterte will succeed.

“The President decided to take the other path, which is the localized peace talks,” Bello said. “So, we hope that this new tact will succeed so that our panel is not needed,” he added.

Asked on the possibility of resuming formal peace talks, Bello said “anything is possible”.

“Because if the President’s commitment to our country is inclusive and lasting peace for our country; if it means resuming the peace negotiation, why not? He is trying to get all the avenues for a possible peace negotiation and a peace settlement. So one of his avenue is the localized peace talks,” he said.

For the rebels' part, he said they should show sincerity once peace talks resumes.

“The party should provide the talks with a conducive atmosphere. You cannot attack me while we are talking. Like what happened before, we went to The Netherlands to talk them, and then suddenly they ambushed (a) presidential convoy. So this does not speak well of their sincerity,” he said.

And while the government is focusing on localized peace talks, the government panel is reviewing the agreements they entered into with the communist rebels.

“We are also preparing, just in case there will be a resumption, we will talk on the things we have left behind. And we are about to finalize the agreement on social and economic reforms, which to me is the heart and soul of the peace negotiation,” Bello said.

“And once we finish and agree with the NDF-CPP-NPA, to me that is the endgame.” he added.

Duterte terminated the peace talks last year due to violence being committed by the New People's Army, the armed wing of the CPP.

Malacanang offered to hold localized peace talks to the communist rebels on the ground but the CPP rejected it. Ella Dionisio/DMS