EDITORIAL| On freeze

PEACE Adviser Jesus Dureza issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that back channel talks with the CPP/NPA/NDF will be cancelled due to “recent developments involving attacks done by the NPAs.”

This came in the heels of the clash in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato, with members of the Presidential Security Group Wednesday morning, July 19, who were on their way to Cagayan de Oro City. Some  50 New People’s Army rebels  clashed with soldiers which wounded  five PSG personnel  and killed one government militia. A  Criminal Investigation and Detection Group agent was also abducted.

The backchannel talks which was scheduled sometime in the week in Europe will no longer push through as Dureza said the “situation on the ground necessary to provide the desired enabling environment for the conduct of peace negotiations are still not present up to this time.”

The fifth round of the formal talks was cancelled last May after the government peace panel demurred due to “lack of conducive environment” for the negotiations. Reports of continued clashes in Mindanao and elsewhere in the country continued. Government was insistent on a ceasefire before resuming the talks.

The backchannel talks Peace Adviser Dureza was referring to was supposed to happen on July 21 to 23 to tackle how they will resume the peacetalks.  Close to a year after a very optimistic start of the peace talks, we are again facing another roadblock to the peace process.

Posted in Opinion