The current administration will no longer talk peace with communist rebels following attacks on military personnel escorting social workers handing over cash assistance and foods packs in remote areas, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Monday.
Addressing the nation, the President expressed sadness over the attacks by the insurgents while the soldiers are doing what he said is the “most honorable task of accompanying the government workers delivering money and the food.”
“I am so sad about this development but there will always be a time for reckoning,” he said in the televised address.
“There is no more peace talks to talk about. I am not and I will never be ready for any round of talks kasi simply the NPA, the Communist Party of the Philippines, has no respect either for their spoken words or in their deeds of killing soldiers who are on humanitarian missions”.
The military said two soldiers were killed and three others were wounded in an encounter with New People’s Army (NPA) during an aid distribution in Aurora province recently.
President Duterte initiated peace talks with the rebels upon assuming office but negotiations bogged down because of the continuous attacks by the insurgents against military and police installations.
Also during his address, President Duterte thanked the members of the country’s uniformed personnel for their service to the nation especially the Philippine Army (PA) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
The PAF, he said, made countless sorties to deliver much-needed medicine and hospital equipment in different parts of the Philippines as the country strives to curb the spread of COVID-19. PND