05 February 2017

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella on CBCP pastoral letter slamming the reign of terror behind the war on drugs
The officials of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) are apparently out of touch with the sentiments of the faithful who overwhelmingly support the changes in the Philippines – turning the nation into a safer place for families, working people, especially young night shift workers, far from the “terror” the bishops paint rather dramatically.

The efforts of these Church leaders might be put to better use in practical catechetics that build strong moral character among the faithful, and so contribute more to the reign of peace felt by ordinary citizens everywhere, especially those who are innocent of illegal activities.

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella on the suspension of peace talks between GRP and CPP-NDF-NPA
Pres.Rodrigo Duterte has declared the suspension of Peace Talks between GRP and CPP-NDF-NPA.

He will likewise direct the Philippine delegation to return home.

This is deeply disappointing as Final and Lasting Peace has been one of his deepest aspirations for the nation.

President Duterte suspends peace talks with communists, orders government negotiators to come home
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the suspension of peace talks between the government and communist rebels and will direct government negotiators to come home, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

“This is deeply disappointing as final and lasting peace has been one of his deepest aspirations for the nation,” Abella said in a statement.

In a separate statement, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said if there is anyone who passionately dreams of bringing about sustainable peace in the country it is President Duterte and his judgment calls are directed towards this goal.

“At the moment, he has clearly spoken on the directions we all in government should take. Let’s take guidance from these recent declarations,” Dureza said.

“As I always say, the road to just and lasting peace is not easy to traverse. There are humps and bumps, and curves and detours along the way. What is important is that we all stay the course,” he added.

In an interview in Davao City on Saturday, President Duterte said he is not ready to resume peace talks with the communist groups.

“As I have said, I would like to tell the Filipino people: peace with the communists might not come in this generation,” he said.

The President said he has done everything and has walked the extra mile in extending an olive branch with the rebels but their “unreasonable” demand of releasing more than 400 political prisoners prompted him to discontinue the talks.

He was likewise angered by the deaths of several soldiers despite ongoing peace negotiations with the leftist groups.###PND