Peace process with CPP-NPA closed but not locked – peace adviser

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 March) – Peace process with the Communist

Party of the Philippines can be opened again, Presidential Adviser on

the Peace Process Sec. Jesus Dureza told a conference of local

governments involved in peace work here Thursday.

 

Dureza said peace talks with the communists have been closed, but not

locked either. “It can be opened anytime,” he said.

 

Dureza cited, however, that it is the communist group’s refusal to go

into a ceasefire agreement among other things that is holding the

government at the moment.

 

“We cannot focus on working on a peace process if there is fighting on

the ground,” he said, referring also to the peace negotiations between

the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

 

The Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process (OPAPP)

has called on local governments to make peace-building as part of

their local development plan.

 

A day after Dureza’s pronouncement, however, Armed Forces Chief of

Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr. told national media he wanted communism

to be outlawed again over an allegation the left is taking advantage

of the repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law in 1986 to topple government.

 

The Anti-Subversion Law (Republic Act 1700), which afforded easier

arrests during Martial Law, was repealed during the term of President

Corazon Aquino to lure the rebels to talk peace with the government.

 

Esperon told members of the Manila Overseas Press Club Friday they

need to file the appropriate charges against leftist personalities,

such as Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo, so they could pursue

them.

 

Ocampo has challenged the court ruling at the Supreme Court. While

waiting for the high court’s ruling today, he was taken into custody

by Manila policemen.

 

He has gone into hiding after a local court issued an arrest warrant

for the murder of suspected communist rebels.

 

Negotiations with the CPP-NDF-NPA have been cancelled since August

2004 after the rebels accused the government of not doing enough to

remove CPP head Jose Ma. Sison and the CPP’s armed wing, the New

People’s Army (NPA), from the United States’ and the European Union’s

terrorism blacklists. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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