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Duterte: No more peace talks with Reds as soldiers killed while on COVID-19 missions

President Rodrigo Duterte has again scrapped the peace talks with the National Democratic Front.

In his address on Monday night, Duterte accused the New People's Army of killing soldiers on humanitarian missions amid the COVID-19 crisis.

"It is a sad thing to know that yung mga sundalo ko pinagpapatay while even doing the most honorable task of accompanying the govt workers delivering money and the food. I am so sad about this development but there will always be a time for reckoning," Duterte said.

"There is no more peace talks to talk about. I am not and will never be ready for any round of talks kasi simply the NPA, the CPP has no respect either for their spoken words or in their deeds of killing soldiers who are on humanitarian missions," he added.

Duterte thanked the uniformed services for "delivering the medicines and medical kits required."

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said that soldiers had been killed or wounded during clashes in San Fernando, Masbate on April 19, in Aurora on April 21, in Paquibato, Davao on April 22, in Victoria City, Negros Occidental on April 24, and again during a police operation in Masbate.

“Nagpapasalamat po kami doon sa ating mga bagong bayani at pinararating po ng presidente at ng buong sambayanan ang aming pakikiramay sa mga namatayan at ang pasasalamat po ng buong bayan,” Roque said.

Scores of soldiers were killed and hurt in encounters with rebels throughout April.

On April 19, three soldiers died and four were hurt after clashing with members of the New People’s Army in Negros Occidental.

On April 17, 11 soldiers died while 14 were wounded after an encounter with alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf group in Patikul, Sulu.

Malacañang condemned the killings, saying that “the enemies of the State choose no date and occasion. They strike even during this time of great pandemic.

Days later, eight more soldiers were wounded while six suspected Abu Sayyaf members were killed in an encounter in Patikul, Sulu. -NB, GMA News