PH Army agrees resume of peace talks if rebels declare ceasefire

According to the Philippine Army, it is favorable to resume peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) if the latter would declare a ceasefire.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva noted that Army soldiers are in the forefront in the fight against the insurgents. Military estimates placed the NPA strength at 3,700 as of end 2017.

The President said on March 6, 2018, that he is open to resuming peace talks with the communists if they would declare a ceasefire. He said he discussed with Norwegian officials the possibility of continuing the talks.

Norway is mediating the peace talks between the government and the communist-led National Democratic Front (NDF).

“The Army’s interest is to have a settlement of this issue,” Villanueva said. “If this (peace talks) pushes through, it’s a good development. We’ve given them chances in the past but they undermined the (peace) process,” he added.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bienvenido Datuin said, “The AFP is for peace and development and will always follow the policy direction of the President and political leaders. The CPP-NPA-NDF should reciprocate with sincerity in their actions once they declare ceasefire and go back to the negotiation table.”

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