Dela Rosa says rebels only using peace talks to recruit fighters
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa on Tuesday, December 10, slammed the Left for their "insincerity," days after President Rodrigo Duterte announced he would send Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to talk to Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison.
"Kapoy na. Pagod na tao 'dyan. Lokohan lang [ang] peace talks na 'yan. Are they sincere? No. Kung sincere sila eh di matagal nang natapos ito," Dela Rosa told reporters. (I'm tired of it. The people are tired of it. They are just fooling around with these peace talks. Are they sincere? No. If they were sincere they we would've ended this a long time ago.)
The police chief-turned-lawmaker said that there shouldn't be peace talks anymore.
"Everybody wants peace. For me, we shouldn't close the door if they are sincere. But we have proven time and again who isn't sincere. It's them, not the government," he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Dela Rosa said the communists will only take advantage of the space allowed them in a peace process. "Dahil nga they are not sincere, ginagamit lang nila ang peace talk na 'yan para lang makaluwag yung fighting space ng kanilang mga armado sa baba, dahil naiipit na sa gobyerno, at para makapasok sa lugar na di nila napapasok para makapagrecruit, makapagconsolidate magmobilize kumuha ng kailangan nila," Dela Rosa said.
(Because they are not sincere, they are using the peace talks to widen the fighting space of their armed troops in the lowlands, because they are already threatened by the government, and so they are able to enter areas that they were not allowed, to recruit, consolidate, mobilize, and get the resources they need.)
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr earlier said that the President wants another round of peace talks with communist rebels, but wants it done in the Philippines.
Sison has been in exile in the Netherlands for more than 3 decades.
After the talks broke down in 2017, the Duterte administration mounted a counter-insurgency campaign that has resulted in what human rights organizations describe as illegal raids and arrests, and the harassment of organizations that are doing legal work.
Duterte has in fact ordered the military to end the insurgency before he steps down.
Negotiations ended in November 2017, when the President accused the communists of violating a ceasefire. Duterte later ordered the creation of a task force holding "localized peace talks," but this has not taken off. – Rappler.com