NATIONAL Democratic Front chief peace negotiator Luis Jalandoni slammed Liberal Party presidential candidate Mar Roxas for his apparent disinterest in resuming peace talks with the Philippine communist movement.
“It appears he and his group are overconfident because they have the government resources,” Jalandoni told Davao City reporters in a Internet phone interview.
“Because of their control of the automated election system, they appear to have no interest because they are riding on [President Benigno Aquino III’s] Straight Path,” Jalandoni said.
Jalandoni said the leaders of the local national democratic movement are anticipating that a Roxas administration may simply reject peace talks, adding that they are more optimisting of pursuing talks with Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte or Senator Grace Poe.
Of the three, however, Jalandoni, said Duterte appears to be the “most forward” in pursuing peace negotiations.
“Mayor Rodrigo Duterte seems the most forward among the presidential candidates to present his position on the peace negotiations. He even said he is willing to have a coalition government with the NDFP and announced that he will give three cabinet posts to NDFP if he becomes president,” Jalandoni said.
The three cabinet positions mentioned were for the Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Menwhile, the Northern Mindanao regional police command tightened security in the region against increased attacks by the communist New People’s Army as the national and local poll nears.
Police Supt. Surki Sereñas, the police regional spokesperson, confirmed the declaration of the full alert status in the entire region, especially in the provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental where the NPA presence is prevalent.
He said that as the elections and the March 29 anniversary of the NPA draw near, it is highly likely that the rebel group will intensify attacks in various areas in Northern Mindanao.
In a statement released to the media last week, the NPA vowed to continue to launch a series of attacks to counter the continued military operations in rebel turfs in the region.
“Disrupting the functions of the government has been the ‘bread and butter’ of the communist rebels,” Sereñas said.
Sereñas urged the public to report to the local police any information involving security concerns while appealing for cooperation in the fight against the insurgency.