Malacañang on Tuesday, March 27, reiterated its conditions for the resumption of the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

“As before, we reiterate that there must be an enabling environment that must be present for the desired resumption of peace talks such as genuine sincerity on the part of the CPP-NPA-NDF. They must cease their hostilities against innocent civilians and government forces; end their extortion activities, violent streaks and wanton killings; lay down their arms and return to the fold of law and restart to live normal lives,” Presidential Spokesperson Herminio Harry L. Roque, Jr. said in a statement.

At least 61 congressmen backed the filing of House Resolution (HR) 1803 on March 22 urging President Rodrigo R. Duterte to resume peace negotiations with communist rebels.

The spokesman noted that even without the peace talks, “the government’s efforts at forging peace with communist rebels have been gaining ground, as evidenced by the surrender of NPA fighters.”

“Rest assured that the government will exhaust any and all means to achieve lasting peace towards unity and progress,” he added. — Arjay L. Balinbin