MANILA: Communist rebels on Sunday killed two farmers in the central Philippines despite peace overtures from incoming President Rodrigo Duterte, the military said.
About 20 guerrillas of the New People’s Army raided a bunkhouse used by farmers in the central island of Negros and killed two of them before fleeing, said military spokeswoman Second Lieutenant Revekka Roperos.
“They sowed terror as part of their extortion strategy against the farmers,” she said. “Because they did not want to pay, to frighten them they did this inhuman act.”
Duterte, winner of the May 9 presidential election, has made moves to restart talks with the communists and end one of Asia’s longest insurgencies.
In the southern city of Davao, where he is preparing to assume office on June 30, he again reiterated his plan for peace with the communists.
“We share the same vision,” he told reporters on Sunday.
Asked if he would grant amnesty to the guerrillas, Duterte said: “It will be depending on the result of the talks, if we can agree together to make this a peaceful country.”
Last week Duterte met a communist negotiator about reopening the talks three years after outgoing President Benigno Aquino ended them.
The insurgency has claimed 30,000 lives over almost half a century, according to military estimates.
Aquino revived talks soon after taking office in 2010 but shelved them in 2013, accusing the rebels of insincerity. AFP