Peace talks end; Duterte orders all-out war vs. NDF-CPP-NPA

The Duterte administration has renewed hostilities with the communist rebels following the collapse of the peace talks in the Netherlands and the ambush-slaying of three government troopers in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

The Bukidnon ambush of unarmed government troopers was the last straw that apparently prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to end the peace talks with the National Democratic Front-Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.

“Iyon kasi ang last straw. ‘Niloloko n’yo ako eh. Hindi pa effective ang ceasefire n’yo, pumapatay na kayo,'” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, partly quoting the visibly irked Duterte.

Duterte had earlier urged the NDF consultants still in the Netherlands not to go back to the Philippines or face arrest. The NDF consultants are Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, Vic Ladlad, Afelberto Silva, Alfonso Jazmines, Alfredo Mapano, Loida Magpatoc, Pedro Cudaste, Ruben Salota, Ernesto Lorenzo, Porferio Tuna, Renante Gamara and Tirso Alcantara.

The Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) prevents the government from rearresting the NDF consultants but at least two high-ranking communist leaders — NDF consultant Ariel Arbitrario at NPA liaison officer Roderick Mamuyac – were already nabbed in Davao City two days after Duterte ended the unilateral ceasefire.

Lorenzana on Tuesday said the government forces will now wage an all-out war against the NPA. “Yes, it is an all-out war. Tinawag na silang terorista ng Presidente. Ano ba ang pagkakaiba nila sa Abu Sayyaf? They terrorize people to get money.”

Duterte said he now considers the NPA a terrorist group after he terminated the ceasefire and peace talks with the NDF-CPP-NPA.

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