President Rodrigo Duterte has made the harsh pronouncement that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) are all terrorist groups.
He made such bold statements right after paying his respects in the wake of the three slain soldiers in Cagayan De Oro, and after saying that the government has already shown goodwill in pursuance of the peace process with the aforementioned groups.
The president also announced earlier that the peace negotiations with the CPP-NPA-NDF will be stopped and those negotiations will only be resumed only for compelling reasons.
“You give them all the leeway and everything and you return to be stupid. From now on I will consider the CPP-NPA-NDF a terrorist group.” – President Rodrigo Duterte
Backing up his statements, he also revealed that he has already informed the Bureau of Immigration to keep their eyes peeled on the consultants of the CPP-NPA-NDF, all of whom were temporarily released in order to facilitate the peace negotiations. This is to make sure that they do not flee the country.
He also ordered the arrest and detention of the CPP-NPA-NDF consultants, and even the cancellation of their passports.
According to the president, the movements and locations of the consultants are being constantly monitored by the members of the intelligence division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Meanwhile, Fidel Agcaoili, NDF peace panel chairperson, shared that the mode of termination of the peace negotiations were provided for under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). This means that the president cannot just unilaterally halt peace negotiations without complying with the JASIG provisions.
Agcaoili also explained that the 17 NDF consultants who participated in the formal peace talks in Rome last January 19 to 25, 2017, are all back in the country, and they are all not in hiding.