NPA attacks fuel doubts on peace talks – Palace

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The series of attacks by alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) has “fueled the public’s doubt” on the sincerity of the Communist Party of the Philippines in the peace process, Malacañang said on Monday.

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The NPA, the communist party’s armed wing, was tagged in at least five attacks in various provinces last month.

“The New People’s Army attacks in Sarangani, South Cotabato, Surigao del Sur, Palawan and Masbate fueled the public’s doubt about the talks with the group,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a news conference.

Abella said the NPA rebels disarmed village officials and members of the civilian volunteers organization in Sarangani and South Cotabato who were active in the government’s counter-insurgency campaign.

“They abducted a tribe leader and a CAFGU (Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit) member in Surigao del Sur and ambushed a military convoy in Palawan and also killed a policeman in Masbate,” he said. “The government will undertake appropriate steps to deal decisively with these forces that seemed to have lost their sense of nation-building.”

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte said he is not keen on resuming talks with the communists, saying it would just be a waste of money.

Duterte scrapped the peace talks in July after the communist leadership ordered leftist fighters to launch offensives against government troops to protest the imposition of martial law in Mindanao.

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