RealNews

No Progress in Philippine Govt. and Rebel Talks

Philippine government and leftist rebel negotiators failed to make any progress in talks this week aimed at ending more than three decades of fighting, an exiled communist leader close to the rebels said on Thursday. Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Philippine Communist Party and an adviser to the communist-led umbrella group National Democratic Front (NDF), said it was not clear when the two sides might sit down again. “They (government representatives) basically issued an ultimatum,” he told Reuters. “They demanded that the NDF accept what they called a final peace accord. What they demanded was capitulation.” More than 40,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since the communist rebels began their fight for a Marxist state in the mainly Roman Catholic Philippines in 1969. NDF officials met Philippine government negotiators in the Hague this week in a bid to resume talks that collapsed in 2001 after communist hit squads assassinated local politicians. Full Story

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