Duterte’s cancellation of stand-down and formal peace talks is unacceptable

GRP President Duterte’s nth time cancellation of the scheduled resumption of formal peace negotiations is totally unacceptable. He has also canceled the scheduled stand down that was set to take effect one week before the formal talks.

Malacañang made the announcement withdrawing from the scheduled talks after consulting with the AFP and his national security officials. Belying his pronouncements of willing to “walk the extra mile for peace,” Duterte and the AFP are refusing to tread the path of peace talks as a way of addressing the roots of the armed conflict. The Filipino people are fed up with Duterte’s doublespeak.

What is clear is that Duterte is obsessed with waging all-out war against the people and talks of peace only as a way of inducing the surrender of the revolutionary forces through a prolonged ceasefire without resolving through concrete reforms such widespread problems of the people as rural poverty, hunger, joblessness, low wages, insecure jobs and others.

For the record, the CPP was set to issue a standby order to the New People’s Army (NPA) in anticipation of the announcement of the stand-down agreement.
Duterte is making himself look foolish and whimsical by claiming “I am not ready” to justify his cancellation of the scheduled talks. In fact, Duterte is merely concealing his disinterest in implementing the stand-down agreement and seriously pursuing formal peace negotiations. He is completely indifferent to the pressing issues of land reform, national industrialization and overall economic development, issues which the Filipino people have long demanded for.

Even now, all of the AFP’s close to 100 field battalions are relentlessly deploying thousands of troops across the country. Under the US-designed Oplan Kapayapaan, Duterte and the AFP are zealously waging all-out war targeting the civilian population in the rural areas and applying the Marawi tactics of laying siege on several hundred rural barangays to suppress their resistance and grab their lands.

Several hundred hinterland barrios and entire towns across the country are being occupied by the military, deploying an overwhelming number of troops in resource-rich areas, especially those being targeted for conversion into plantations and mining areas, as well as military reservations, including vast ancestral lands of Mindanao Lumads (particularly in the Pantaron range) and Moros (especially the Liguasan Marsh and Marawi), of the Dumagats in Quezon province and other national minority groups and peasant communities demanding land reform.

With Duterte’s unilateral cancellation of the scheduled talks, the CPP and NPA are ever more resolute in waging and advancing people’s war across the country in order to defend the Filipino people against the assaults of the fascist regime. The Party directs the NPA to continue to consolidate, strengthen and expand its ranks and its mass base across the country, rouse the people to fight their oppressors and exploiters, mount widespread tactical offensives targeting the worst of the AFP’s fascist units, as well as the ruling regime’s criminal and fascist cohorts, in order to frustrate the US-Duterte regime’s Oplan Kapayapaan and its aim of crushing the people’s armed resistance this year.

The Filipino people are determined to unite and wage struggles amid increasingly intolerable conditions of socio-economic crisis and blatant fascism to oust the US-Duterte regime.

Topics: AFP, NPA, GRP, Duterte, CPP, NDFP, Peace Talks

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