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PIA Press Release

Gov. Uy: No localized peace talks with ComVal rebs

Davao City (1 November) -- Compostela Valley Governor Arturo "Chiongkee" Uy has junked efforts to bring local communist rebels to the negotiating table saying top officials of the communist movement want talks to be held at the national level.

Uy made this announcement as Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas on Wednesday urged governors of the Davao Region to explore localized peace talks with the New People's Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Cagas, chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) in Region Eleven, which counts governors of the Davao Region as members, said luring local rebels to discuss peace is one of strategies in attaining peace and order in the region.

Cagas presided over an RPOC meeting held at the Army's Eastern Mindanao Command base in Camp Panacan in Davao City.

But Uy, who attended the meeting, said he abandoned plans to pursue localized peace talks after finding out the National Democratic Front (NDF), the political arm of the communist movement, frowned on localized peace talks and wants to talk only with the national government.

The NDF broke off peace negotiations with the Philippine government after it was tagged as an international terrorist group by the United States and the European Union in wake of the World Trade Center bombing attack by the terrorist group al-Qaeda in 2003.

Uy earlier had sought help of the Catholic Church and civil society groups to lure the rebels but the plan to sit down in localized talks with local commanders did not push through.

The RPOC meeting came as NPA rebels last week mounted another ambush on government troopers killing six soldiers in New Bataan in Compostela Province. The NPA is active in the Davao Region operating at least fifteen fronts in Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley and in Surigao del Sur which shares boundaries with the Davao provinces. (pgo ids comval-PIA XI) [top]

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