Sotto sees no need for further peace talks with CPP-NPA

Senate President Vicente Sotto III believes it will be unnecessary to resume the peace talks between the Philippine government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New Peoples' Army (NPA).

Senate President Vicente Sotto III
(Alex Nueva España / Senate PRIB / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Sotto said on Monday that the Duterte administration was right in deciding to terminate its negotiations with the CPP-NPA.

"PRRD (President Duterte) is right. Peace talks (are) not respected by their followers in the lower level. What's use?" he said in a text message sent to reporters.

Leaders of leftist groups have called for the resumption of the peace talks after the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) last December 9, designated the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group "for its acts of violence, various forms of deception, and multiple means of threatening persons and civilizations."

While it may challenge the designation, the CPP-NPA said it would not as it does not recognize the legitimacy of the Anti-Terrorism Law (ATL) that created the council.

Under the ATL, individuals and organizations tagged by the ATC as terrorists may file a request for delisting within 15 days after the designation.

Last April, President Duterte declared that he will no longer pursue talks with the communist organization for its continued attacks on government troops who were deployed for relief work amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There is (sic) no more peace talks to talk about. I am not and will never be ready for any round of talks. Because simply, the NPA, the Communist Party of the Philippines, has (sic) no respect either for their spoken words or their deeds of killing soldiers who are on humanitarian missions," Duterte had said in his televised address.