The on and off peace talks

Opinion & Analysis Philippines Jun 9, 2017 at 2:29 pm

After an optimistic end to the fourth round of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), things appeared to have soured once again. Even if the GRP-NDFP peace talks have got nothing to do with the intensified battle that erupted between government soldiers and the terrorist Maute group – which is being linked to Islamic fundamentalist ISIS – it appeared to have become a victim of it.

When the fighting erupted at Marawi city and President Duterte declared martial law all over Mindanao, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) ordered the New People’s Army (NPA) to intensify its guerrilla operations and recruitment. The order appeared to have been in anticipation of a declaration of martial law nationwide – which President Duterte warned he would do if the battle with terrorists extends to the Visayas and Luzon islands– and of intensified operations by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against the NPA and the communities suspected to be supporting it.

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