MANILA New parameters must be established when conducting peace talks with the rebel group New People's Army (NPA) to ensure its success, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Tuesday.
Lorenzana made the statement after 61 members of the House of Representatives signed a petition urging President Rodrigo R. Duterte to resume peace negotiations with the rebels.
Lorenzana said new parameters are needed to ensure that the process will have better results. "Siguro baguhin natin angparameters. We cannot repeat what we have been doing and expect a better result this time because, believe me, it will result in the same failure. Past experiences are our best guide," Lorenzana said.
At the moment, Lorenzana said he sees little need for peace talks as the number of NPA members and their supporters who surrender has been growing.
Earlier, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported that 4,356 NPA regular members and their supporters have surrendered to government forces nationwide starting Jan. 1 up to March 15 this year.
The AFP said surrenderers include 626 NPA regulars and Sangay sa Partido Lokal or local party members and 3,730 Militia ng Bayan, Underground Mass Organization members and mass supporters.
Majority of surrenders happened in eastern Mindanao, particularly in the regions of Davao and Caraga, totaling 97 percent or 4,194 individuals, the AFP added.
Duterte terminated the peace talks through Proclamation No. 360 on Nov. 23, 2017.
In December last year, Duterte issued Proclamation No. 374, declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA (CPP-NPA) as a terrorist organization.
Source: Philippine News Agency