HomeNewsDuterte vows not to talk with communist rebels 'ever again'

Duterte vows not to talk with communist rebels ‘ever again’

The Communist Party of the Philippines said the president’s declaration “comes as no surprise"

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte this week vowed not to declare a ceasefire with the communist rebels “ever again” during his administration.

“There will be no ceasefire ever again under my term as president. For all intents and purposes the ceasefire is dead,” the president said during his weekly address to the nation.

He said the resumption of peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front, the negotiating arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines, was likewise “dead.”

“For all intents and purposes, the ceasefire is dead. And the peace talks between the NDF, the [New People’s Army], along with all of you – I am identifying you because I have seen the records; you are really communists,” Duterte said in a late night television broadcast on December 7.

He said he would reveal all the names of those involved with the underground movement before the end of his term.

In a statement on December 8, the Communist Party of the Philippines said the president’s declaration “comes as no surprise.”

“His government’s policies have always been shaped by military generals who are obsessed with prolonging the civil war,” read the statement.

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“Duterte has time and again proved himself opposed to any effort to end the civil war in the country through peace negotiations,” it added.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has earlier recommended to the president not to declare a suspension of military operations with the New People’s Army during the Christmas holidays.

Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, said the rebels showed “incapacity for sincerity and for being unfaithful to a covenant….many times in the past.”

In April this year, Duterte turned down any possibility of pursuing peace talks with the rebels after an alleged ambush that killed two soldiers in the province of Aurora.

“There’s no more peace talks to talk about. I will not and never be ready for any round of talks,” he said.

Jigger Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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