After the proclamation of President Rodrigo Duterte declaring the CPP- NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army) as terrorists, The Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) asked the government panel and National Democratic Front, on Friday, through a press statement to resume the peace talk and stop the war during the holidays.
“We thus call on President Duterte to rescind both proclamations and we implore both the GRP and the NDFP to return to the negotiating table – to talk peace instead of waging war. We also call on both parties to declare and observe the yearly Christmas ceasefire,” PEPP said.
“As we approach the day of birth of Jesus Christ, the bearer of hope, let us all pray and work for a just and enduring peace, starting on the call to resume the government and NDF peace talks,” it added.
It was on Tuesday when Duterte signed a proclamation declaring the CPP-NPA as a terror organization and was announced by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.
“It’s a proclamation declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army as a designated, identified terrorist organization under R.A. No. 10168,” Roque said.
“So as the President has stated before, he has finally classified the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization within the purview of the Human Security Act,” he added.
Republic Act No. 10168 is the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.
But the PEPP called the issuance of the proclamation as very tragic and will have far reaching and adverse repercussions on the peace negotiations.
“This new development is indeed very tragic as there were high hopes a year ago that peace will be achieved through the negotiations between the government panel and the National Democratic Front after five decades of armed conflict,” it said.
“It is always the policy of the government not to negotiate with “terrorists” and this will seal the fate of the peace talks. As leaders of churches in the country, we are troubled by this announcement and the escalation of violence that will surely ensue,” it added.
PEPP also added that it might be very costly, both lives and resources, to abandon principled dialogue and relying on purely military.
“A militarist approach will only fan the flames of the conflict instead of truly addressing it,” it added.