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Group wants NPA rebels disarmed as requisite for peace talks

By Lade Jean Kabagani / Philippine News Agency

Liga Independencia Pilipinas national chairperson Jose Antonio Goitia (File photo)

MANILA – Anti-communist group Liga Independencia Pilipinas (LIPI) sees the need to disarm members of the New People's Army (NPA) before reopening the government table for another peace talks.

This, according to Jose Antonio Goitia, LIPI national chairperson, on the unanimous stand of some presidential candidates to pursue peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing NPA, and political arm National Democratic Front (NDF).

"As a democratic nation, state, we have issued a strong position as a matter of state policy not to negotiate or conduct talks with any terrorist groups. The CPP-NPA-NDF has been labeled by the international countries as terrorist groups and similarly the Philippines also with the enactment of the Anti-Terrorist Act," he said in a statement Tuesday.

Preconditions imposed by the government must be observed before the peace talks, he added.

"The CPP-NPA-NDF should renounce all its terroristic activities during the past and present and stop future plans. They should accept conditions of demobilizations and disarmament of its military wing NPA before talks can proceed," Goitia said.

Goitia said peace negotiation with the communist groups should be conducted here in the Philippines, as the insurgency itself is happening locally.

"Drop its claims of belligerency status. At the same time its insistency on conducting talks in the international setting. Issues that brought about by this insurgency are local in nature," he said.

"Since the 1986 Peace talks, the government has been in a losing end. The terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF has used the cessation of hostilities to conduct propaganda and pursue the communist line among different sectors of the society, the youth being the most vulnerable of such," he added.

Goitia cited during the earlier peace talks, the CPP-NDF has been strengthening its political fronts in the white areas, while its armed wing NPA, continued the pursuit of a "bloody revolution" on the rural side of the country.

"It has penetrated pillars of our institutions as if they are nationalist and democratic while hiding their communist/atheist intention of a bloody revolution," he added.

Goitia was pertaining to a series of attacks on government troops, community extortion, and the killings of civilians, particularly indigenous peoples.

"We hope that these presidentiables would discern enough the terror plot being hatched by the CPP-NPA-NDF using the democratic space that we have," he said.

Goitia, meanwhile, hoped the public would have a wise choice of a presidential candidate in the upcoming May 9 polls.

"Educate yourself to not be alluded by popular votes. As a potential leader of the country, learn from mistakes and historical errors done in the past. Never again shall we be fooled by populist rhetorics," he said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)

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