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Localized peace talks pushed

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A group calling itself “No to CPP/NPA/NDF Coalition” staged a rally Friday afternoon at the historic Mendiola bridge to push localized peace talks as a viable alternative to peace following several failed peace negotiations between the government and the communists.

In an interview, the group’s spokesman Ka Dario Olivar told the Daily Tribune that while President Rodrigo Duterte is giving peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front (CCP-NPA-NDF) another chance there is little chance it would succeed, as he expressed doubts on the sincerity of the communist leaders to pursue peace.

It could be recalled that last 19 February, President Rodrigo Duterte bared he would allow Fidel Agcaoili, chief negotiator of the National Democratic Front (NDF), to return in the Philippines to resume stalled peace talks.

“The only real solution finally to peace is localized approach because each region has different settings, problems and culture,” Olivar said.

He acknowledged though that the peace negotiations may prosper if it is done here in the Philippines and not in a third country that acknowledges the belligerent status of the NDF.

Likewise, he said the communists must first end its terrorist practices that include illegal taxation, extortion, killings, recruiting youth as combatants and the use of banned weapons such as land mines.

On the part of the government, he said it must support legitimate demands such as the push for industrialization, integrating former communist fighters into the Armed Forces of the Philippines and implementing genuine land reform.

What could prove a deal breaker, according to Olivar, is the necessity for the communist leaders to answer for the crimes they have committed.

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