MANILA, Oct. 6, 2011—The attack staged by the New People’s Army on three mining firms in Mindanao stresses the need to continue the peace talks between the government and the rebel group, an ecumenical group said.
According to the Philippines Ecumenical Peace Platform, the government should not let the peace negotiations be affected despite the recent attacks by the insurgents.
“We hope that it will not be used to stall the peace talks between the GPH and the NDFP,” said Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, PEPP Secretary.
Iñiguez also chairs the Committee on Public Affairs of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
“The nation’s welfare and the general public should always come first. This should be enough reason to continue the peace talks with the communist rebels,” opined Iñiguez.
But the prelate said this does not mean that the incident in Surigao del Norte should just be disregarded.
He said the broadest ecumenical formation of Church leaders advocating for the formal peace negotiations definitely condemns such actions.
“The actions of the NPA was simply violent and cannot be ever justified,” said Iñiguez.
Last Monday, around 200 NPA rebels stormed several mine sites in Surigao del Norte and briefly took some workers hostage while also burning trucks, excavators, and one guest house.
A disappointed President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday immediately ordered “corrective actions” against liable security officials.
Malacañang had also said the attacks may further weaken the peace talks being pursued by the government with the communist group. [CBCPNews]