By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday expressed disappointment and sadness over the decision of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison to withdraw his support in the resumption of the peace talks between the national government (GRP) and the CPP-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NPA-NDFP).
PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said the regime of President Duterte is the “best venue” to discuss and end the decades-long armed conflict by the rebel groups.
“I think this is the best venue, the best time to end this war on insurgency. The government is serious in extending peace sa ating mga kapatid na hanggang ngayon ay nag-rerebelde (to our brothers and sisters who are being rebellious until now). Siguro ay nagpapakamatay sila sa bundok na alam naman nating walang pupuntahan itong ipinaglalaban nila (Probably they are killing themselves in the mountains where in fact we know that what they are fighting for are heading nowhere),” Albayalde said.
“Sabi ko nga ang importante rito (Like what I have said, what’s important here), [just like] in any peace negotiations, it’s sincerity which is what the government is showing,” he added.
On Thursday, Sison announced in a statement that the NDFP, the political arm of the CPP, “can no longer negotiate with a GRP that is headed by Duterte.” He cited the failure of the Duterte administration to heed their demands in order for the peace talks to prosper such as the halt in the military operations against the NPA rebels.
Sison added that it would be easier to participate in the “oust-Duterte” movement than finish the peace talks.
Meanwhile, PNP spokesperson, Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr. said the decision of Sison “scuttled the resumption of peace negotiations.”
“The Philippine National Police is saddened by the latest pronouncement of Utrecht-based Communist Party of the Philippines Chair Jose Ma. Sison that in effect scuttled the resumption of peace negotiations with the government,” Durana said in a statement.
“We regret that leaders of the National Democratic Front, for reasons of their own, have closed the door on the prospects of ending the five decades of conflict with the Philippine government,” he added.
According to Durana, the PNP is keen on seeing the “logical conclusion” of the peace talks as they have “seen the ugly face of war, and we hate to see the future generations go through it all over again.”
Nonetheless, Durana said the PNP is poised to initiate preventive security measures to preclude possible hostile actions by the local communist movement in the aftermath of the suspended resumption of peace negotiations with the CPP-NPA-NDFP.
“Through PNP Director for Operations, Police Director Ma. O R Aplasca, the Chief PNP, Police Director General Oscar D Albayalde has issued a series of security reminders to all regional directors in anticipation of possible increased armed activity, violent action, and show of force by the communist New People’s Army,” Durana said.
“Police regional offices were directed to implement Enhanced Managing Police Operations (E-MPO) in their respective areas of responsibility thru regular law enforcement activities, security measures, information operations, red teaming, contingency planning, simulation exercises, feedback and offensive stance,” he added.