OPAPP rejects calls for revival of gov't-communists peace talks

By Joviland Rita / GMA News

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process on Friday turned down calls for reviving peace talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines.


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In a statement, the OPAPP said resuming the national peace negotiations is now an “exercise in futility” this time.


“We believe the resumption of national peace talks at this point is an exercise in futility, given that the implementation of Executive Order No. 70 has largely benefited the Filipino people, rather than the self-interests of a few,” it said.


On Wednesday, the Makabayan Bloc suggested “to reopen the formal peace negotiations and to fully address the root causes of the raging armed conflict” following the fatal landmine attack on civilians by the News People's Army in Masbate City.


On Sunday, a bomb and gun attack perpetrated by the NPA -- the CPP's armed wing -- killed athlete Kieth Absalon, 21, and his cousin Nolven.


In a rare instance, the CPP admitted that the attack by its cadres violated international law.


According to the OPAPP, Executive Order No. 70, which mandated the use of a Whole-of-Nation Approach to end the local communist armed conflict, is already resolving issues with the rebels.


Also, it said the EO addresses the root causes of the communist armed conflict, “which clearly disprove the allegations by the left that the government has failed to address the plight of the people, especially in the countryside.”


“It is obvious that the [CPP] leadership is once again seeking attention, as the successful implementation of E.O. No. 70 has simply rendered them irrelevant,” the OPAPP added.


President Rodrigo Duterte ended the peace negotiations with the CPP with the issuance of the EO in 2019.


“Let us not turn a blind eye to the real issue before us,” the OPAPP said.


“The CTG murdered innocent people, and they must be brought to justice, not only for these recent killings, but for the countless crimes they have committed against their countrymen -- and humanity,” it added. —LBG, GMA News

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