THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) expressed support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to cancel peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) following a series of attacks by its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA).
“Indeed, it is a futile effort to continue to talk peace with the group like CPP-NPA-NDF whose mem-bers continue to bleed money from people and senselessly kill our soldiers that defend and protect our people,” Colonel Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP public affairs, told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo at a press conference on Thursday.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines has been open and very supportive in the government’s effort in all its projects yearning to achieve lasting peace and spur development in the countryside,” Arevalo said.
Arevalo cited the separate attacks by the NPA in North Cotabato and Palawan on Wednesday.
In North Cotabato, at least five members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) were wounded and a militiaman was killed after NPA rebels, posing as Army men, set up a “fake” checkpoint in the town of Arakan where they fired at the two PSG vehicles that stopped.
In Roxas, Palawan, suspected NPA rebels shot dead two members of the 12th Marine Battalion as they were buying goods from a wet market.
These incidents forced Duterte to suspend the fifth round of peace talks, which was supposed to take place in Japan this July, as requested by the NDFP.