The Philippines has cancelled peace talks with communist rebels after guerillas attacked a convoy of presidential security guards, killing one and wounding six.
President Duterte was not on the scene at Arakan city in North Cotabato province on Mindanao when the conflict between the guards and New People’s Army (NPA) rebels erupted early this morning (Wednesday, July 19).
Ten presidential guards had been in two automobiles once they encountered a communist checkpoint and pictures had been exchanged.
Arakan police chief Argie Celeste mentioned a militiaman who was not with the presidential guards was fatally shot when he tried to cross by way of the identical freeway checkpoint.
Operations are underway to pursue the rebels, who withdrew towards one other village. One police agent was kidnapped by the rebels, police mentioned.
The attack was cause sufficient for peace adviser Jesus Dureza to cancel “back channel” talks with exiled leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
In an announcement, Mr Dureza mentioned: “The situation on the ground necessary to provide the desired enabling environment for the conduct of peace negotiations are still not present.”
Maoist rebels have been waging a guerrilla warfare for practically 50 years to overthrow the federal government — making it the longest such insurgency in Asia.
The battle has value greater than 40,000 lives and stunted development in poverty stricken however resource-rich rural areas.
The peace course of has been fraught with breakdowns, with either side abandoning unilateral ceasefires in February, blaming one another for launching assaults.
Yesterday, the president met his negotiating team and instructed them to not comply with a bilateral ceasefire till the NPA ceased assaults. He additionally referred to as on CPP management to maintain its fighters below management.
The conflict at a checkpoint got here a day after the president requested Congress to increase martial legislation in Mindanao till the tip of the 12 months.
Government forces are persevering with to battle Islamic State-affiliated militants who’ve occupied the island’s Marawi City for 58 days. Meanwhile, operations are persevering with within the Sulu peninsular towards Abu Sayyaf terrorists.
Military chief Eduardo Ano accused the communist rebels of exploiting the security disaster.
“That’s why you are seeing now an increase in the intensity of encounters nationwide,” he mentioned, including two marines had additionally been killed by rebels on Palawan.
As we reported yesterday, the NPA has introduced that it’ll step up offensive operations towards authorities troops in protest on the bid to increase martial legislation.