Military confident localized peace talks will succeed

Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2018 08:50 PM

This photo taken on July 30, 2017 shows guerrillas of the New People's Army (NPA) in formation in the Sierra Madre mountain range, located east of Manila. Noel Celis, AFP/file photo

MANILA—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is confident that localized peace talks with communist rebels will succeed, its spokesperson said Thursday.

This, even as the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) declined to participate in the talks.

“Ayaw nila (CPP) sa localized peace talks dahil nakikita nila magsa-succeed at mawawala ang millions of pesos in extortion money," Col. Edgar Arevalo, military spokesperson told reporters.

(They don't want localized peace talks because they can see that it will succeed and millions of pesos in extortion money will be gone.)

Under localized peace negotiations, local government units will be holding negotiations with communist rebels in their respective jurisdictions.

Arevalo said at least 7,400 communist rebels have already surrendered and are given protection from harassment from other rebels who are still fighting the government.

The government has already provided P108.95 million worth of assistance to rebels who have surrendered, he added.

“If these are matters na makakatulong sa mga kababayan o mga kapatid natin na na-persuade sumama sa NPA (New People's Army), we are willing to spend more money kung 'yun ang maghahatid sa kanilang bagong buhay” Arevalo said.

(If this will help our countrymen who were persuaded to join the NPA, we are willing to spend more if this will help them in their new life.)