TWO senators threw their support behind President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to cancel the talks with Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF), insisting that the rebels must first show good faith.
Sen. Gregorio Honasan 2nd, chairman of the Senate committee on peace, unification and reconciliation, said the government must first make sure that it was talking peace with the right group that has control over the communist rebels on the ground.
“We cannot talk and fight at the same time.” Honasan said.
Malacanang, in a statement Wednesday, said the President told the government peace panel that formal talks with the communist group would not resume until its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), stopped attacking state troops.
Informal talks with CPP/NPA/NDF was supposed to be held this July at The Netherlands but the President decided not to push through with it following the attack on a convoy of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) by the NPA in North Cotabato on Wednesday.
The NPA is also being held responsible in the killing of two Marines in Palawan Wednesday morning.
Honasan said that if the CPP-NDF did not have control over armed rebels attacking government troops and installations why was the organization not condemning it.
“If you have no control and do not condemn the attacks, why are we talking? This is bad faith,” he added.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan, a member of the Senate minority bloc also expressed support for the President‘s decision to cancel the talks to make sure that everything was being done in good faith.
“We support the position taken by the President as a means of ensuring both sides deal with one another in good faith,” he added.