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President terminates peace talks with Reds

 

By GENALYN KABILING

 

President Duterte said he has “terminated” the government’s peace negotiations with the com­munist rebels, and would instead continue fighting them.

The President said he could “not deal” with communist rebels since they have not only killed soldiers and civilians but also demanded a coalition government.

“I have terminated the talks with the Reds – Communist Party of the Philippines with Sison because in the series of agreements before, even the time of Aquino, they en­tered into so many things that they scattered the privileges and power which they wanted,” he said during the launch of the “Pilipinas Angat Lahat Alliance” in Malacañang last Tuesday.

“We summed it all and it would really appear that it was a coalition government and I said, “I cannot give you an inch of that even. I cannot give you what is not mine,’” he added.

Duterte declared that the gov­ernment would instead resume the fight against the communist reb­els, who have committed atrocities against the community.

“I cannot deal with the Commu­nist Party because to date, they have killed so many thousands soldiers, barangay captains, inno­cent civilians, suspected of being agents of the military,” he said.

“We have suffered and – in numbers. And I think it would not be good. We will just have to con­tinue fighting,” he added.

The President recently laid down some conditions prior to the resumption of the peace talks with the communist rebels, includ­ing holding the negotiations in the country instead of abroad. The communist rebels must also agree to a ceasefire and stop collecting revolutionary taxes for the revival of the talks.

Communist leader Jose Maria Sison, however has rejected the President’s fresh demand to re­sume the peace negotiations in the country, saying it was risky for the rebel negotiators. He reportedly said they would rather talk peace to the country’s next leader.

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