Reds should have been sincere in pursuing peace talks: AFP

MANILA — If the rebels really care about the country and its people, they should have shown sincerity in pursuing peace talks with the government.

This was stressed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Major Gen. Restituto Padilla, noting that their fight is really hopeless.

“But hopefully they come to their senses that this fight is hopeless, that the Filipino people have already made themselves felt. Hindi na nila gusto ang ganitong kaguluhan dahil sila ang naaapektuhan, (They don’t want chaos because they are the ones who are affected.)” he said in an interview Saturday.

Should the rebels decide to continue with their fight, it would have an effect on Philippine security, Padilla added.

“So kung talagang nagnanais silang magdulot ng katahimikan para sa buong kapuluan, then, sila na mismo ang dapat magde-decide na sana noong nagkaroon ng usapang pangkapayapaan naging maayos ang kanilang naging pakikitungo at naging willing sana sila sa maaaring naging kasunduan na hindi naging hard-liner ang stance nila. (So if they really want peace in the archipelago, then they should have decided at the time when there were peace talks that they would be willing to accept the possible outcome of the talks without having a hard-liner stance.),” Padilla said.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the scrapping of peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front, in his Proclamation 360 signed Nov. 23, following the series of atrocities committed by NPA members against military and civilian targets in various parts of the country.

Around 64 soldiers, police officers and militiamen were killed while another 127 wounded in various attacks and ambushes conducted by the NPA on this year alone.

Rebel attacks accounted for 70 civilian deaths, including those of a four-month baby girl in Bukidnon last Nov. 9, along with 13 wounded and another 28 missing.