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Joma Sison: No need for peace talks amid martial law, killings

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison on Thursday deemed the peace talks with the government unnecessary due to the Duterte administration's  "obsession with martial law and mass murder."

Sison's scathing statement was issued a day after the government canceled its backchannel talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF), the CPP's negotiating arm, following Wednesday's rebel attack on a Presidential Security Group convoy in Arakan, Cotabato.

"There is really no need for GRP-NDFP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines-National Democratic Front of the Philippines) peace negotiations if the Duterte regime is obsessed with martial rule and mass murder as the way to solve social, economic and political problems and to frighten in vain the revolutionary forces and people to surrender and give up their revolutionary struggle for national and social liberation," Sison said in a statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte has put the entire Mindanao under martial rule on May 23 following the attack on Marawi City by Islamic fundamentalist groups sympathetic to the ISIS terrorist organization.

The 60-day martial law will lapse on July 22, but Duterte has asked Congress to extend it until the end of the year. 

Attack on PSG

Regarding the attack on the convoy, Sison questioned why the PSG van was in the area.

"What is the PSG van doing in Arakan, Cotabato? To make provocations or to stage an Enrile-type ambush on the eve of the martial law proclamation by Marcos in 1972? A preparation for martial law nationwide, thus the PSG van is made to appear as the target of NPA ambush?" he asked.

The attack injured five PSG men namely Staff Sergeant Arniel Matunhay, Sergeant Gerry Torsar, Corporal Rodel Ledesma, Corporal Ayam Alia, and a Staff Sergeant Lisondra.

The Duterte administration has kept firm on its stand to discontinue peace talks with the communists if they persist in their hostilities against the government.

The fifth round of talks was put on hold in May after the government peace panel pulled out from it following the CPP's call for the NPA to intensify attacks on the heels of the martial law declaration in Mindanao. —Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK/KVD, GMA News

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