Philippine gov't gives up on peace talks with leftist rebels

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-29 16:56:17

The Philippine government said on Monday it is no longer keen on pursuing formal peace negotiations with the leftist rebel group New People's Army (NPA).

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the government will instead step up its Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) or the "Oplan Bayanihan."

Lacierda said the Netherlands-based leaders of the Community Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front(CPP-NPA0- NDF) seem to be "stuck in the 1960s."

"How does one talk to these people when we don't speak the same language anymore? When we talked to (the CPP-NPA-NDF), we heard jargons that were already passe such as national industrialization, " he said.

Lacierda said Norway, the third-party facilitator in the formal peace talks between the Philippine government and the leftist rebels, has already been apprised of the new developments.

Government peace panel head Alexander Padilla earlier said the Aquino administration would no longer hold formal talks with the leftist rebels after the special track of negotiation also bogged down in February.

Instead, the government is considering a new approach, the specifics of which have yet to be revealed by officials.

Despite the government's decision to stop talking with leftist rebels in a formal setting, Lacierda said the "Oplan Bayanihan" of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will continue.

"It is a plan to win the hearts and minds of the rebels in the mountains, in the rebel-infested areas," he said.

Lacierda said the primary focus of "Oplan Bayanihan" is " winning the peace and not just defeating the enemy."

The CPP-NPA-NDF has been waging war against the government for over four decades.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

blog comments powered by Disqus