PRRD: COMMUNISTS HARD TO DEAL WITH
MANILA -- There is a slim chance of pursuing peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) as their demands are hard to meet, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said Friday.
In a situational briefing after his aerial inspection in the aftermath of Tropical Depression Usman in Camarines Sur, Duterte said unlike Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari, who is open to peace negotiations, CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison is difficult to negotiate with.
"Wala tayong makuha diyan sa NPA. Maski na sabihin nilang walang coalition but they want to join yung mga economic bodies natin gaya ng NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority), mahirap yan (We cannot get anything from the NPA. Even if they say they do not want a coalition, but they want to join our economic bodies like the NEDA, it's a hard thing to do)," he said.
The President said Sison's fellow CPP-NPA-NDF negotiators Luis Jalandoni and Fidel Agcaoili are also hard to deal with.
"Si Agcaoili, hinahaluan ng mga legal-legal yan (Agcaoili is always mixing things with legal jargon). They came and wanted to talk to me, sabi ko (I said), 'No.' You come, cut, and cut cleanly, you adopt the democracy," he said.
Duterte added that leftist personalities previously in his Cabinet, particularly former Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) secretary Rafael Mariano and former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) secretary Judy Taguiwalo, pushed for questionable policies, with Mariano allegedly urging people to occupy vacant lots and Taguiwalo allegedly prioritizing NPA members in the distribution of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) benefits.
"He (Mariano) was there, a Cabinet member at that. He was egging people na mag-okupasyon (to occupy), if there is a vacant lot. Kaya (So) I was forced to come up, sabi ko (I said), 'Do not do that because I will order the law enforcers to arrest you, if you fight, to shoot you dead,'" the President said.
NPA members, he said, do not know the impact of their insurgency and just blindly follow Sison.
The CPP-NPA, in earlier reports, had been involved in mass murders, extortion, and violation of indigenous people's rights.
The US State Department and the European Union have both tagged the CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations. (PNA)
Photo by Bullit Marquez/AP/Philstar