Philippines' Duterte formally scraps talks with leftist rebels

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-24 01:01:36|Editor: Zhou Xin
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MANILA, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed a proclamation to formally terminate talks with the country's communist rebels, the government said on Thursday night.

In a statement, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte has directed the office of the presidential peace adviser to cancel talks and meetings with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP).

"While we agreed to resume peace talks with the aforementioned group and exerted our best efforts to accelerate the signing and implementation of the final peace agreement, the NDFP-CPP-NPA has engaged in acts of violence and hostilities," Roque said.

"We find it unfortunate that their members have failed to show their sincerity and commitment in pursuing genuine and meaningful peaceful negotiations," he added.

The Duterte administration revived the talks with communist rebels in August last year. But the talks have since bogged down due to a series of attacks launched by the rebels against troops and civilians.

Since 1986, the government has been trying to reach a peace deal with the communist rebels but failed to make any headway.

The communist rebellion began in 1969 and reached its peak in 1987 when it boasted 26,000 armed guerrillas.

However, the movement has since dwindled due to differences in strategy and tactics and the arrests of many of its top leaders in the late 1980s. At present the military estimates the communist armed rebels at around 4,000.