Sara Duterte wants Davao excluded from ceasefire, peace talks with Reds

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 23 2019 06:32 PM

MANILA—Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Monday asked for the exclusion of her city from the government's ceasefire with communist rebels as she warned that rebels might only take advantage of the holiday season to stage more attacks.

Duterte-Carpio also asked that her hometown be excluded from the peace negotiations with the rebels should it push through.

"...We ask the Duterte government to exclude Davao City from the scope of the Christmas ceasefire with these terrorists. We also seek the same once the national government pursues the reopening of the formal peace negotiations," she said in a statement.

The President has hinted at the possible resumption of peace negotiations with communist rebels, which he officially terminated earlier this year. On Sunday, the government declared a ceasefire for the holiday season.

"We respectfully caution the Duterte administration over its move to reopen the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)," Duterte-Carpio said.

"Why the past peace negotiations sorely failed could only be blamed on the countless criminal acts and treachery of NDFP-CPP-NPA — displayed even during times when ceasefires were supposed to be in place," she added.

Duterte-Carpio rejected negotiations with the communist rebels, referring to them as "terrorists." She instead touted the achievements of the local peace initiative Peace 911, saying it is a more effective strategy in winning back strongholds of rebels.

"These groups manipulate and turn communities to rise against the government, propagate fear, inflict abuses, extort, and execute and murder civilians through its deranged brand of revolutionary justice. These and more are the reason why these groups are called terrorists. And we should never negotiate with terrorists," she said.

"To be covered by the ceasefire or the peace negotiations will only disrupt and threaten the gains of our process of peace and development in these communities formerly controlled by the terrorists," she added.