MANILAThe Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA), and not the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), is solely to blame for the failed peace negotiations, military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said Wednesday.
Arevalo made the statement in response to CPP founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison's allegations that the security sector sabotaged the outcome of the negotiations last June.
He cited a recent NPA atrocity against three soldiers in Bukidnon as an example of the rebels' insincerity.
"While the ceasefire and peace negotiations are ongoing, terrorist NPA members ambush soldiers. Most abominable was the cold murder of three soldiers in Malaybalay, Bukidnon who came from a community project on (Feb. 1, 2017). Each bore an average of 24 to 27 gunshot wounds," he added.
During the same ceasefire, he said, the NPA continued their extortion activities, the burning of farm implements and government heavy equipment doing public works projects, and their recruitment, regrouping, and refurbishing.
"The AFP discovered that the CPP-NPA were plotting the ouster of the President they termed as 'Red October'. They hatched this plan while the government negotiating panel was in Norway talking to Mr. Sison, Jalandoni, Tiamzon, et. al.," Arevalo said, referring to Sison's fellow communist leaders Luis Jalandoni and Benito Tiamzon.
He said these rebel actions prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to lift the ceasefire and cancel the peace negotiations.
"Despite his goodwill in releasing top CPP-NPA leaders to form part of the negotiating team as per NDF (National Democratic Front's) request, the latter had the temerity to blame the AFP for the collapse of the talks," Arevalo added. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency