MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a proclamation that formally ends peace negotiations with communist rebels, Malacañang said Thursday.
In a statement, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte signed Proclamation 360 on Thursday afternoon and directed the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines Panel for Peace Talks to cancel peace negotiations with the communist rebels.
"While we agreed to resume peace talks with the aforementioned group and exerted our best efforts to accelerate the signing and implementation of the final peace agreement, the NDF-CPP-NPA has engaged in acts of violence and hostilities," the statement read.
"We find it unfortunate that their members have failed to show their sincerity and commitment in pursuing genuine and meaningful peaceful negotiations," it continued.
This, after Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison earlier accused Duterte of being the top terrorist in the Philippines, saying the latter is responsible for the "mass murder" of drug suspects, among others.
The government on Wednesday also cancelled peace negotiations with the communist rebels in line with Duterte’s order.
Over the weekend, the President said he is no longer inclined to resume peace talks with the CPP-New People's Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP), whose members he branded as "terrorists" and "criminals."