Unacceptable demand

CPP: Does Duterte really take the revolutionary forces for fools?

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has lost moral ground in asking the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) to surrender, the CPP said.

In a statement, the CPP questioned Duterte’s recent statements about the revolutionary group.

However, the group said that negotiations may still push through, at least from their end.

But the group stood their ground on waging the wars as the road for peace is being paved in the on-again-off-again talks between negotiators from both sides of the peace table.

“As proven in the past, NDFP-GRP negotiations can proceed and make progress even while the civil war rages. As a matter of principle, the revolutionary forces remain open to negotiations as a means to attain a just and lasting peace even as it wages people’s war, conduct tactical offensives and confront the US-Duterte regime’s Oplan Kapayapaan all-out war,” the CPP said in a statement.

“The NDFP-GRP negotiations, however, cannot be fruitful while Duterte remains obsessed with Oplan Kapayapaan and demanding NPA capitulation.”

Duterte, the CPP said, demanded the surrender of the NPA but waged an all-out war against them.

In a statement released through the CPP’s information bureau, Sept. 9, the CPP said Duterte’s demands for surrender was “unacceptable.”

“Does Duterte really take the revolutionary forces for fools?” the CPP said.

According to the political arm of the revolutionary group, Duterte no longer had any moral ground to demand the surrender, even as Duterte offered for the NPA to be part of the government.

Last week, President Duterte, in a speech, offered surrendering NPA members to become government militiamen.

“Recall that the NPA declared a ceasefire on August 19, 2016 which lasted for close to 160 days as a response to Duterte’s signed commitment to release around 500 political prisoners through an amnesty proclamation,” the CPP said.

“Duterte, however, wasted the goodwill of the NDFP when it failed to fulfill its commitment and took advantage of the NPA ceasefire to deploy his soldiers and conduct military offensives.”

The CPP also called out the Philippine National Police’s “Oplan Tokhang killings,” as well as various government actions such as the “successive killing of peasants, national minorities and youths, military occupation of civilian communities, aerial bombings and shelling, the near-genocidal war against the Maranaos of Marawi, arbitrary arrests and detention and so on.”