- News in Photo
Malacañang yesterday denounced the killing of four policemen by suspected New People’s Army rebels in an ambush in Bansalan, Davao del Sur Wednesday.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the killing would likely hinder the resumption of the peace talks with communist rebels.
“How it would affect? It will provide some sort of hindrance but, however, there’s a bigger thing which is the pursuit of peace,” Abella said in a Palace news conference about the impact of the attack on the stalled peace process.
“I cannot quantify but I’m sure quality-wise, it will influence the talks,” he said, adding the communist rebels must take “firmer action” to control their men on the ground.
Abella reiterated that the government expects the rebels to stop attacks on troops, extortion activities, and release prisoners before it continues the peace negotiations.
“The President has actually laid down some conditionalities. Well, basically, some things that he would like – he would like the CNN, the CPP-NPA-NDF, to abide by, for example, that they should stop extortion and that there should be a bilateral ceasefire,” he said.
“In other words that they should also cease action, that they should, in fact, take it upon themselves to be responsible for their own people and also to release prisoners,” Abella added.
The President earlier said backchannel efforts are being conducted by the government following the breakdown of the peace talks last month.
Duterte had said he was willing to talk peace but asked for the sincerity of the rebels. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)