Peace talks suspension blamed on DND chief

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    ANGELES CITY — A militant group has urged Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana to resign, as it blamed the secretary for the suspension of the 5th round of peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

    The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said it is “certain” that Lorenzana, as well as “military men” in Duterte’s cabinet, had worked for the suspension.

    The group based its claim on Lorenzana’s earlier suggestions that the talks be put on hold until the New People’s Army (NPA) ceases from its tactical offensives against government forces.

    “Sec. Lorenzana has been manifesting gross ignorance of the dynamics of the peace process. First and foremost, the cessation of hostilities is not the precondition for the two confl icting parties to come face to face in the peace negotiating table. The absence of hostilities will be achieved by addressing its roots which are landlessness, poverty, and social injustice,” Pamalakaya said in a statement.

    Pamalakaya noted that the 5th round of talks were supposed to zero in on the comprehensive agreement on socio-economic reforms (CASER) addressing such roots of conflicts.

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