• Defense backs cancellation of talks with communists


    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has had enough of the communists’ “double-talk” and the criminal acts being perpetrated by its armed wing, the New People’s Army, against civilians, the Department of National Defense (DND) said on Wednesday.

    “The President has had enough of the communist movement’s penchant for double-talk and continued acts of atrocities against the Filipino people,” DND Spokesman Arsenio Andolong said in a statement, after Secretary Jesus Dureza, presidential adviser on the peace process, announced that the government was canceling talks with the National Democratic Front, the umbrella organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA.

    Andolong’s statement also came days after Duterte announced that he would proclaim the NPA as a “terrorist” group, citing attacks made by armed rebels in the countryside.

    “In keeping with the President’s guidance, the DND and AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) will continue to vigorously pursue operations against their armed components,” Andolong said.

    Despite the department’s support for the cancellation of peace talks, the DND also urged NPA members anew to lay down arms and return to the fold of the law.

    “We strongly suggest to the NPA to lay down their arms, surrender, return to society, and be part of the real change espoused by the national leadership,” Andolong said. DEMPSEY REYES


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