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NSC laments Reds’ order to intensify attacks

The STAR Cover (Jan uary 4, 2023)

MANILA, Philippines — The National Security Cou ncil (NSC) slammed yesterday the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) for calling on its armed members to launch fresh and bigger attacks against the government despite ongoing exploratory talks on possible peace negotiations in Oslo, Norway.

The communist movement released a statement on its 55th founding anniversary last week directing its armed members to “stir up and spread the flames of the people’s war.”

NSC assistant director general Jonathan Malaya said the CPP-NPA-NDF should encourage communist rebels to lay down arms in support of the Joint Communique issued on Nov. 23.

Malaya said the remaining m embers of the CPP-NPA launched a so-called 3rd Rectification Movement on Dec. 26, 2023, telling all its committees to further advance the revolutionary armed struggle while it is engaged in exploratory peace talks with the government.

Malaya said the NSC and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) are “disappointed and perplexed by the statement of the CPP central committee.”

The CPP-NPA-NDF reaffirmed its allegiance to Jose Ma. Sison’s obsolete Marxism-Leninism-Maoism application to Philippine conditions, he said.

“Instead of abandoning arms and preparing for the NPA’s transformation provided in the Oslo Joint Communique, the CPP has called for a rectification movement, doubling its commitment to continue the armed struggle, which it calls as the ‘national democratic revolution’ toward complete victory,” Malaya sai d.

“To make matter worse, the CPP called the forthcoming exploratory peace talks as an additional battlefield to advance the national democratic cause. This only means that the CPP has not abandoned its original position,” he added.

Malaya noted that the NSC has always been one with the Philippine government in supporting the exploratory talks with the NDF.

He described the move as “a major step as both parties agreed to a principled and peaceful resolution of the armed conflict and, most importantly, ending the armed struggle.”

“Both sides also agreed that the exploratory talks will pave the way for the transformation of the CPP-NPA-NDF from an armed force devoted to a ‘people’s war’ to an above-ground political movement that is the government’s partner for peace and development,” he said.

“If we can prevent bloodshed and prevent the loss of more lives, exploratory talks are worth considering, even if there are now zero active guerrilla fronts,” he added.

Malaya said the NPA’s armed strength is down to less than 1,500 fighters nationwide.

He said the statement of the CPP goes against what has been agreed by both parties in the Oslo Joint Communique.

The CPP posted its ann iversary statement online.

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