TIMELINE: Elusive road to peace with PH communist insurgents

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation 360 officially ending peace talks with communist insurgents in the country. The Manila Times retraces the events before this.

May 18, 2016: The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) offers to resume peace talks with then President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and asks him to include Left-leaning officials in his Cabinet.

June 12: Malacañang welcomes resumption of peace talks between the Duterte administration and the communist insurgents.

June 15-16: The Duterte administration and the communist rebels hold preliminary talks in Oslo, Norway to iron out the issues to be discussed.


July 25: Duterte, in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), declares a unilateral ceasefire.

July 28: Duterte revokes his declaration of unilateral ceasefire after communist rebels failed to respond.

August 1: Responding to Duterte’s withdrawal of the unilateral ceasefire, the CPP calls the President a “bully”.

August 19: CPP’s Central Committee and the New People’s Army (NPA) National Operational command declares a ceasefire after detained communist   officials Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma were released.

August 22: The Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the political wing of the CPP, officially start negotiations in Norway in a bid to end one of Asia’s longest-running insurgency.

Sept. 27: A draft amnesty proclamation covering 434 members and Leaders of NDF, CPP and NPA is received by the Office of the Executive Secretary.

October 6-10: The second round of talks resumed in Oslo, Norway

January 27, 2017: The third round of peace talks between the Philippines and communist rebels in Rome ends with no deal forged.

February 2: Communist rebels withdraw five-month old ceasefire declaration and accuse Duterte government for failing to honor its promise to release their other detained comrades. Duterte, however, stands pat on decision not to give in to the rebels’ demand.

February 6: After abruptly ending negotiations with the NDF, Duterte brands communist rebels a “terrorist group” following attacks on government troops.

February 10: The NDF refuses to acknowledge the written notice sent by the government on the termination of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), which prevents the arrest of peace consultants.

March 5: Duterte initiates back channel talks with the rebels to revive collapsed talks.

April 1: Chief peace negotiator Silvestre Bello 3rd says negotiations will proceed even without the declaration of a ceasefire on the part of the Duterte administration and adds Duterte’s interest in obtaining a bilateral ceasefire agreement. CPP says that it will no longer declare a unilateral ceasefire, following the decision of the government not to call a truce and instead negotiate a bilateral ceasefire agreement.

April 4: The government and communist rebels agree to negotiate an interim ceasefire agreement as the fourth round peace talks resume in the Netherlands after a one-day delay over Duterte’s insistence on a clear bilateral truce.

May 28: The government cancels the supposed fifth round of peace talks with communist rebels, citing their continuing offensives in Mindanao where Duterte has declared martial law following a spate of attacks by the Islamist-inspired Maute group and despite government assurances that the CPP-NPA is not the target.

July 8: Duterte grants conditional pardon to 10 detained consultants of the NDF
ahead of the resumption of the fifth round of peace talks with communist rebels in August.

July 20: The government cancels the scheduled back-channel talks with the CPP-NDF after the NPA ambushed a convoy of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) in Arakan town, North Cotabato. The cancellation comes as Solicitor General Jose Calida’s announces plan to arrest NDF consultants over criminal charges.

July 25: Duterte reiterates that his government will no longer talk peace with communist rebels if they do not stop attacks on government troops.

September 14: Communist rebels rejects a demand by Duterte for them to sign a ceasefire accord, saying it is tantamount to surrendering to the government.

October 5: In a speech during the Philippine Army’s 58th Change of Command Ceremony at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Duterte says that there’s no use engaging the NDF in peace negotiations because it will not be beneficial to the country. He adds that he will not pursue peace talks with the communists for the rest of his term.

October 24: Duterte calls on the CPP-NPA to stop its attacks.

November 16: Government operations against the NPA continue in many areas in Mindanao as the communist group launches more attacks after the collapse of peace talks with the Duterte administration.

November 19: Duterte announces he will issue a proclamation labeling communist rebels as terrorists as he reiterates that he no longer wants to talk with the CPP-NDF.

November 22: Government formally cancels peace talks with communist rebels as Duterte signs Proclamation 360. KAROL JOSEF LUCENA, JASIANNE DE MATEO

SOURCES:

“CPP to name nominees for 4 Cabinet posts”. TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/cpp-to-name-nominees-for-4-cabinet-posts/262807/

“The 2016 State of the Nation Address”. Official Gazette. http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2016/07/26/the-2016-state-of-the-nation-address/

“AFP still committed to truce with Reds”. Fernan Marasigan, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/afp-still-committed-to-truce-with-reds/276545/

“Duterte issues new ultimatum to Reds”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/duterte-issues-new-ultimatum-to-reds/276844/

“Duterte revokes truce with Reds”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/duterte-revokes-truce-with-reds/277017/

“Duterte to pursue talks with Reds”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/duterte-to-pursue-talks-with-reds/277400/

“CPP withdraws support for anti-drug campaign”. Ma. Reina Leanne Tolentino, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/cpp-withdraws-support-for-anti-drug-campaign/279912/

“CPP, govt declare truce”. Anthony Vargas, Catherine S. Valente, and Al Jacinto, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/cpp-govt-declare-truce/281134/

“Peace talks with communist rebels resume in Norway”. Philippines News Agency. http://www.manilatimes.net/peace-talks-with-communist-rebels-resume-in-norway/281532/

“Amnesty for 434 NDF, CPP members sought”. Philippines News Agency. http://www.manilatimes.net/amnesty-434-ndf-cpp-members-sought/290373/

“Reds ‘not ready’ to die for Duterte”. Llanesca T. Panti and Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/reds-not-ready-die-duterte/301847/

“Govt, Reds closer to bilateral truce”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/govt-reds-closer-bilateral-truce/301474/

“Talks with ‘Reds’ end with no ceasefire”. Agence France-Presse. http://www.manilatimes.net/talks-reds-end-no-ceasefire/308994/

“Reds to resume war”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/reds-resume-war/310159/

“Duterte firm vs Reds’ demands”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/duterte-firm-vs-reds-demands/310317/

Duterte brands Reds ‘terrorists’”. Llanesca T. Panti and Jefferson Antiporda, TMT. https://www.pressreader.com/philippines/manila-times/20170206/281479276150991

“‘Reds’ reject peace talks termination”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/reds-reject-peace-talks-termination/311413/

President ready to revive talks with ‘Reds’”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/president-ready-revive-talks-reds/315467/

“Govt in back channel talks with ‘Reds’”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/govt-back-channel-talks-reds/315940/

“Govt insists on bilateral truce with Reds”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/govt-insists-bilateral-truce-reds/320324/

“‘Reds’ withdraw plan to call unilateral truce”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/reds-withdraw-plan-call-unilateral-truce/320483/

“Govt, Reds agree to discuss truce”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/govt-reds-agree-discuss-truce/320891/

“Govt backs out of talks with Reds”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/govt-backs-talks-reds/329672/

“Martial law not against Reds – Defense chief”. Dempsey Reyes. http://www.manilatimes.net/martial-law-not-reds-defense-chief/329661/

“Palace welcomes resumption of talks with Reds”. TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/palace-welcomes-resumption-of-talks-with-reds/267282/

Duterte pardons 10 communist rebels”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/duterte-pardons-10-communist-rebels/337177/

Govt cancels talks with ‘Reds’”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/govt-cancels-talks-reds/339389/

Govt lawyer seeks rearrest of ‘Reds’”. Jomar Canlas, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/govt-lawyer-seeks-rearrest-reds/339600/

Duterte to Left: ‘I will not talk to you. Why should I?’”. Catherine Valente and Bernadette E. Tamayo, TMT. https://www.pressreader.com/philippines/manila-times/20170725/281492161380883

“‘Reds’ reject govt demand for ceasefire”. Al Jacinto. http://www.manilatimes.net/reds-reject-govt-demand-ceasefire/350621/

“Duterte open anew to talks”. Llanesca T. Panti, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/duterte-open-anew-talks/351311/

Duterte on peace talks with communists: ‘Maybe another President can do it’”. Llanesca T. Panti, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/duterte-peace-talks-communists-maybe-another-president-can/354780/

Duterte firm: No more peace talks with Reds”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/duterte-firm-no-peace-talks-reds/356545/

“Stop the killings, Duterte asks ‘Reds’”.  Eugene Y. Adiong/TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/stop-killings-duterte-asks-reds/358348/

Campaign continues vs NPA in Mindanao”. Al Jacinto, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/campaign-continues-vs-npa-mindanao/363308/

“Duterte to label ‘Reds’ terrorists”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/duterte-label-reds-terrorists-2/363749/

Military backs ‘terrorist’ tag on NPA”. Dempsey Reyes, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/military-backs-terrorist-tag-npa/363897/

“NPA ‘terrorist’ tag no surprise to some senators”. Jefferson Antiporda, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/npa-terrorist-tag-no-surprise-senators/363946/

“Defense backs cancellation of talks with communists”. TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/defense-backs-cancellation-talks-communists/364360/

UPDATE: PH ends talks with communist rebels”. Catherine S. Valente, TMT. http://www.manilatimes.net/update-ph-ends-talks-communist-rebels/364352/

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