RealNews

Military Opposes Helping Rebels Ditch US Terror Tag

DEFENSE and Armed Forces officials said Thursday they opposed helping communist guerillas convince the United States to drop the rebels from its blacklist of foreign terrorist groups, which the negotiating panel of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has committed to its communist counterpart. After four days of peace talks in Norway last week, the Macapagal-Arroyo government and the communists issued a joint statement calling on the US, the European Union, Canada and Australia “to support the efforts of the parties in resolving the outstanding issue of the ‘terrorist’ listing.” The National Democratic Front, representing the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its New People’s Army (NPA) at the talks, had threatened to walk out on the peace process unless it won a government commitment on the issue. Defense Secretary Eduardo Ermita told reporters in the southern city of Zamboanga that he did not agree with taking the CPP-NPA off the list of foreign terrorist organizations. “They still continue (their) terrorist activities,” he said. The United States put the CPP-NPA on its list of “foreign terrorist organizations” in 2002, following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Full Story

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