Duterte issues Proclamation 360 ending talks with PH communists

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Former NDFP peace panel chairman Luis Jalandoni said for scrapping the talks, Duterte "must answer to the Filipino people who long for a just ad lasting peace by addressing the roots of the armed conflict" waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army for nearly 50 years.

Roque said the President signed the proclamation earlier Thursday. "He expects to wipe out through arbitrary arrests, torture, indefinite detention and massacre of suspected revolutionaries and legal social activists both the armed revolutionary movement and the legal democratic movement in order to set up a fascist dictatorship in the service of United States imperialism and his fellow oligarchs among the big compradors, landlords and corrupt bureaucrats", he said. Duterte said the government "will pursue them to the ends of the world" for the deaths, particularly of an infant.

Duterte's government had already shelved a round of negotiations in May and informal talks in July this year, citing deadly guerrilla attacks on security forces.

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Duterte's fresh threat against the Leftist rebels came a few hours after presidential adviser on peace process Jesus Dureza announced that the government had made a decision to scrap the peace talks with the communist rebels. In the absence of a ceasefire between the GRP and NDFP, he through his Negotiating Panel should have submitted his complaints to the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) under CARHRIHL.

Sison said unilateral and bilateral meetings of the government and rebels' peace panels have been successful - but all these would be put to waste.

On Tuesday, Duterte said his administration was preparing the official proclamation terminating the peace talks and categorizing the NPA as a terrorist organization. "We will closely watch the developments", Dureza said.

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A draft agreement on coordinated unilateral ceasefires was also in the works, Sison said.

In an interview during the First Women's Peace Table here, Duterte-Carpio told reporters that there will be no "suspension or cancellation" on the efforts of the DC-PEACE, a body created by the Mayor to negotiate with the communists operating in the city. Formal peace talks began in August 2016, and have been suspended thrice until its formal termination on Thursday.

He violated the mutual agreement that talks would be discreet until there was good news to announce at the end of the fifth or sixth round of formal talks.

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The peace talks resumed in April 2017, only to break down again in May. "Then it should order the NPA to stop its criminal activities", Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez said in an interview. "It can not be solved with armed might and threats and actual harming of defenseless civilians, particularly activists and community leaders", the group said.

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