Palace says NPA sincerity on peace talks in question following Eastern Samar attack
Malacanang said on Monday that the sincerity of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in resuming peace talks would be put in question after the rebels' attack in Eastern Samar, resulting in the death of two individuals, including a civilian and a police officer.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said if the Maoist group is interested in resuming the peace talks, it should stop committing atrocities.
"Because when you do that (attacks), your sincerity is in question with respect to peace talks," he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to talk with the Netherlands-based CPP founder Jose Maria Sison for the possible resumption of the peace process, which was terminated in November 2017.
Duterte issued a proclamation at that time terminating the peace process with the CPP-NPA-NDF. He later tagged the CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations.
But last Friday, the NPA launched an attack in Borongan City, Eastern Samar.
A cop and a 69-year old woman were killed and several others were wounded after a bomb exploded as the vehicle carrying them was approaching the Eastern Samar Provincial Police Office.
Gunfire from suspected NPA members followed.
Asked of the effect of the recent attack on the proposed revival of the peace negotiations, Panelo said, "Let us see how it will affect the proposed peace talks." Celerina Monte/DMS