MANILA - The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Friday declined to participate in the Duterte administration's localized peace talks.
Under the localized peace negotiations, local government units will be holding negotiations with communist rebels in their respective jurisdictions.
In a statement, the CPP called the negotiations "pretend talks where Duterte will 'pretend to want peace while actually waging total war against the people.'"
"[The] so-called localized peace talks are a sham, a waste of people’s money, and are doomed to fail. It is a worn-out psywar tactic to project victory to conceal the continuing failure of the AFP to suppress the people’s resistance and stem the steady growth of the NPA,” it said.
“The civil war will continue to rage despite local peace talks.”
Communist rebels also slammed the government's surrender campaigns for being "corruption-riddled."
“Only local government officials and military field officers are happy with the ‘localized peace talks,’ a money-making racket with hundreds of million of funds that will surely end up in their pockets," it said.
The CPP said its armed wing, the New People's Army, will continue to support the negotiating panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in its peace talks with the GRP.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, meanwhile, said the government will "await responses of those who are risking their lives and limbs on what appears to be a hopeless cause."
"The government's offer for localized peace talks is to fighting insurgents on the ground and not to their alleged leaders living comfortable lives in Europe," Roque said in a statement.