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Lorenzana pessimistic on peace talks resumption with Reds

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is pessimistic on the prospect of resuming peace talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) –citing the group’s penchant of taking advantage of the negotiations to pursue their own selfish interest.

This, after CPP founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison lashed out at President Duterte for “double-talking” on the prospect of one-on-one talks between them as reported earlier.
Sison, in a statement, said that he is glad that Duterte, through Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, made it clear that he (Duterte) never had any intention of meeting him in person for a one-on-one discussion.
“Of course, when I first read the report on Duterte´s interview with Mindanews I had some misgivings that he did not mean what he said because of his notoriety for saying one thing and then saying the opposite within a short period and also because of his arrogance and anger in setting some absurd preconditions, like the CPP and NPA humbling themselves and capitulating to his tyrannical rule,” said Sison.
“Nevertheless, in the interest of the Filipino people and in my sincere wish to find a way for the resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, I preferred to give importance to Duterte´s public offer of a private conversation and I agreed to meet him in a country near the Philippines,” he added.
Lorenzana scored Sison’s statement even as he expressed pessimism on the possible positive result of the meeting, if it pushes through, citing the CPP-NPA’s ill motives in talking peace.
“Of course, he welcomes it because that is the only way he can show to his poor NPA terrorists that he is still relevant,” said Lorenzana.
“But I don’t think the peace process will be resumed even after the President and he talks. Because let us always bear in mind that the communist go to peace talks not to pursue peace but to gain strategic and tactical advantage,” the defense chief added.
Lorenzana maintained that peace to the CPP-NPA is when they have totally won their so-called revolutionary war to institute a communist government.
The defense chief cited the gains of the communist group during the resumption of peace talks in the early part of the Duterte administration.
“For instance in the recent peace talks they were successful in freeing 21 of their top leaders from detention and their NPA cadres recovered many barangays in the countryside. We got nothing,” said Lorenzana.
“And yet when the President canceled the talks, we were branded as anti-peace,” he added.
The President canceled the peace negotiations with the CPP-NPA after communist rebels continued with their atrocities against government troops even while there were ongoing talks. The last straw was the ambush against the Presidential Security Group (PSG) in Arakan, North Cotabato last July.

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