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PIA Press Release

Police, military doubt CPP sincerity in pursuing peace talks with government

Cebu City (8 August) -- As conflicting statements are issued on the continuing peace talks with the government from within the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) camp, top military and police officials expressed doubts on their sincerity to continue the peace negotiations.

Central Command Spokesperson Col. Jefferson Omandam disclosed they have never let their guard down more especially now that CPP spokesman Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal and the National Democratic Front announced that they have withdrawn from the negotiating table.

Exiled communist leader Jose Ma. Sison however, contradicted Rosal's statement and said the CPP will continue to pursue peace talks but at the meantime, is just postponing it.

Omandam said it is better to be wary of these people even if peace talks are continued because one never knows when they would mount counter offensives against government forces.

As the Central Command concentrates it military operations in communist bailiwicks particularly in Samar and Negros Islands, Omandam said rebels in Cebu have decreased in number but failed to specify the figure. The Central Command's jurisdiction embraces Regions 6, 7 and 8 or the entire Visayas Islands.

CentCom on the other hand, is providing regular and continuous training on the Integrated Territorial Defense System to military forces in the battle field as army troopers in Samar is given a one-year deadline to neutralize the NPAs in identified rebel sites in the area.

Police Regional Office (PRO-7) Deputy Director for Operations S/Supt. Ronald Roderos likewise, questioned the CPP's earnestness to proceed with the peace talks. "Government is willing and always ready to sit down to continue with the peace negotiations but the CPP is not whole-hearted in its efforts to reciprocate government's offer," noted Roderos.

Negotiations between the government and the CPP have been in and out for years now which goes to prove that the CPP is not that ready to cooperate with the government in the pursuit for long-lasting peace in the country, according to Roderos.

The Philippine Government meanwhile, is set to pursue the peace pact in spite of the announcement of withdrawal by the CPP and the NDF. (PIA-7) [top]

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