Duterte says gov’t not leaving biz sector hanging over NPA extortion

MAYOR Rodrigo R. Duterte assured the business sector that the city government isn’t turning a blind eye to the extortion activities of the New People’s Army.

During the opening of Davao Trade Expo and International Banana Symposium last Wednesday at SMX Davao Convention Center, Duterte said revolutionary tax has been a perennial problem of the business sector, particularly those involved in the banana industry.

He said “overtaxing” investors would “kill the initiative” to do business in the city. He also pushed anew to fast-track the dialogue between the national government and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA-National Democratic Front.

“I’ve been telling them to accelerate the talks between the government and CPP,” he said.

In a website of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP), it was only in February 2011, an impasse of six years, when the national government and CPP-NPA-NDF resumed the formal peace talks in Oslo, Norway.

“Both panels further agreed to complete the draft comprehensive agreements on the remaining items of the agenda, such as the socio-economic reforms, political-constitutional reforms, and end of hostilities and disposition of forces,” the statement from OPPAP added.

But revolutionary youth organization Kabataan Makabayan said in a statement that that “formal peace talks have stalled since June 2011.” Despite this, the organization added that the NDF “has been persistent in pursuing peace negotiations with the help of the Royal Norwegian Government, the third party facilitator.”

Apart from addressing the issue with the CPP-NPA-NDF, Duterte also continued to push on the creation of the federal government as the solution on the problem of Mindanao. He said the island can be also the answer on all the needs of the country should it attained a lasting peace.

“If you are not able to solve the Mindanao issue, we will come up someday with a fractioned Mindanao,” Duterte said.

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