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    Monday, July 3, 2017

    NPA attacks in Mindanao: Intended or not?

    Following the previous attacks allegedly mounted by CPP/NPA/NDF forces in Mindanao, Presidential Peace Adviser (PPA) on the Peace Process Jesus Jess Dureza released a statement on Sunday.

    The statement contains minor details of the said attacks as well as personal insights from the Presidential Peace adviser wary of the measures made by the abovementioned communist forces in Mindanao.

    “There are several recent serious offensives in Mindanao and elsewhere in the country allegedly done by CPP/NPA/NDF forces that further fuel the public's doubt on whether it is still worthwhile to continue the peace negotiations with them,” stated Dureza.

    The Presidential Peace Adviser also exposed the so-called “targets” of such attacks which does not only involve government forces but civilians and innocent citizens as well. These attacks, according to Dureza, are a “blatant violation” of a certain treaty signed and approved by the abovementioned communist forces.

    “Targets of the intensified NPA offensives were not only government forces but innocent civilians and private properties. This is a blatant violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHR-IHL), which the CPP/NPA/NDF signed and committed to uphold and respect,” Dureza said.

    What’s more disturbing for Dureza was the fact that communist leaders had expressed their utmost intention to cease their offensive operations in the southern Philippines to give government forces maximum authority over the Mindanao region against terrorism threats by certain Islamic State affiliated groups.

    “More disturbing is the fact that the communist leaders, while in Europe, issued recently a written statement condemning terrorist groups wreaking havoc in Lanao. These communist leaders even offered to refrain from undertaking offensive operations in Mindanao to enable our government forces to focus manpower and resources in the fight against terrorists,” Dureza claimed in his statement.

    The PPA also raised questions and concerns which, according to him, are not only disturbing but also “evokes” uncertainties and questions in the mind of the public.

    “To us and the public as well, this is not only disturbing. This evokes uncertainties as to whether their leaders are in earnest and sincere in pursuing a negotiated peace settlement. This equally raises questions as to whether their leaders have control over their forces on the ground,” Dureza stated.

    Claiming that such attacks are explicitly not conducive of the ongoing peace talks between the government and communist forces in the country, the PPA said that:

    “Overall, this disrupts the conducive and enabling environment in peace making and peace building.”

    In conclusion, Dureza stated that the attacks are still under speculation and are currently being validated and assessed. Once the government obtained a concrete basis that convicts these communist forces guilty of endangering the Filipino citizens by masterminding such attacks, the PPA asserted that the government will undertake “corresponding” and “appropriate” measures.

    “We are now awaiting further validation of these recent incidents and will continue to assess and observe the unfolding events. Then we will undertake the corresponding and appropriate steps to deal decisively with the situation,” Dureza concluded.

    Source: Jesus Jess Dureza | Facebook
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