Usec. Bernardo C. Florece, Jr.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) fully supports the position of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) opposing any move for the resumption of the failed peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF.
We believe that any back channel efforts to resume talks with the Communist Terrorist Groups is an exercise in futility as the leadership of the CPP-NPA-NDF has never showed sincerity and they have proven, time and again, that they are against peace.
The President has already shut the doors to any form of negotiation through Proclamation 360 which declared the termination of peace negotiations with them. Moreover, the President also issued Proclamation 374 which declared the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization pursuant to Republic Act 10168 or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.
The duplicitous nature of the communist terrorists has long been unmasked as they pretend to be treading the path of peace while continuing to ambush our soldiers and cops, abuse indigenous peoples, and poison the minds of our youth into joining their cause and taking up arms against the government. It is very clear that peace talks for the CPP-NPA-NDF is not for the purpose of achieving peace but to get concessions from government without giving anything in return.
As clearly stated by NDF leader Luis Jalandoni himself, peace talks to them “are another form of legal struggle, which is possible to be used by the revolutionary forces in order to advance the revolutionary armed struggle and the revolutionary mass movement.” Clearly, the CPP-NPA-NDF's singular purpose of calling for peace talks again is to advance their armed struggle through other means and draw away government forces who are decimating their guerilla fronts.
The Local Government Units, which the DILG represents, have aired their position of disgust towards the Communist Terrorist Groups. In fact, as of December 12, 2020, a total of 1,311 provinces, cities and municipalities have declared them as persona non grata in their respective localities. This is aside from the 25,520 barangays that have also issued resolutions declaring that the CPP-NPA-NDF are not welcome in their communities.
Instead, the DILG, together with our partners, will vigorously pursue localized peace engagements which are far more inclusive and allow the participation of the LGU and the communities in local peace talks direct with the guerillas themselves. Through this localized approach with local chief executives leading the negotiations with rebel groups on the ground, local peace and order issues are addressed and solutions implemented immediately.
Through these efforts, 1,833 former rebels received over P144-million in immediate assistance, livelihood assistance, reintegration assistance and firearms remuneration under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in 2020. A total of P210-million in financial assistance has also been extended to 41 provinces and highly-urbanized cities for the construction of halfway houses which serve as temporary shelter for former rebels while their documents are in process.
Malinaw na sa DILG at mga mamamayan ang tunay na kulay ng CPP-NPA-NDF. Sila ay kaaway ng kapayapaan at kaaway ng bayan. Hindi na sasabay sa tugtugin ng mga terorista ang gobyerno. Tama na ang mahigit sa limang dekadang pambubusabos nila sa bansa.