Duterte scraps peace talks with communists as soldiers killed while on COVID-19 missions

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President Rodrigo Duterte has scrapped once again the peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF).

Duterte, in his address Monday night, accused the New People’s Army (NPA) of killing soldiers on humanitarian missions amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Again, this is a sad thing to know that my soldiers were killed while doing the most honorable task of accompanying the government workers delivering money and food,” Duterte said, in a televised address on Monday.

“I am so sad about this development, but there will always be a time for reckoning. There [are] no more peace talks to talk about. I am not, I will never be ready for any round of talks,” he added.

“Because, simply, the NPA [New People’s Army], the Communist Party of the Philippines, [have] no respect either for their spoken words or in their deeds of killing soldiers who are on humanitarian missions.”

Days earlier, the President threatened to declare martial law should the communist rebels continue with their attacks.

Duterte made the warning after two soldiers were killed and three others were wounded in an attack by the NPA during a distribution of aid in Aurora province.

Duterte likewise thanked the uniformed services for “delivering the medicines and medical kits required.”

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemned Duterte’s threat, saying he should stop using the communist rebels to justify his penchant for a martial law rule.

Meanwhile, Duterte said that Metro Manila might open partially under a modified community quarantine.

“We might open partially, construction workers things like that. You wait for the… lalabas na po yung modified,” Duterte said.

“Modified ang quarantine natin so we will allow sectors of society na hindi talaga nagdidikit-dikitan,” Duterte said.

“Kaya modified muna eh kasi kung magsiksikan kayo diyan sa LRT na naman, wala nang katapusan ang problema natin. It will never end,” he also said./Stacy Ang

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