Philippines rejects 'coalition' with communist rebels

The Philippine government said Saturday it would never share power with communist rebels after they proposed an alliance in a bid to end a decades-long insurgency.

The rebels said they had called this week during peace talks in the Dutch city of The Hague for the alliance to undertake programmes aimed at ending the insurgency that has left tens of thousands dead.

Chief rebel negotiator Luis Jalandoni said such programmes would include agrarian reform, rural development and industrialisation.

But the government peace negotiating office said in a statement: "The (government panel) will never agree to establish a coalition government or a power-sharing arrangement with" the National Democratic Front, the rebels' political wing.

It also denied there had been any discussion of a possible coalition when the government panel met with NDF negotiators in the informal, so-called "special track" meeting in the Netherlands.

"The matter on coalition government was never discussed in the recently concluded informal meeting on the special track. There was no such offer made by the NDF," the office said.

During the meetings, the two sides agreed to a 26-day nationwide ceasefire from December 20 and to hold further talks on peace, human rights, land reform, and national industrialisation.

This week's meeting marked the resumption of talks after the Communist Party of the Philippines, the biggest group in the NDF coalition, pulled out of talks in November 2011 after Manila rejected rebel demands.

The two sides resumed low-level "backroom" negotiations in June.

The communists have been waging an armed rebellion to seize power since 1969, and more than 30,000 people have died in the conflict, according to the government.

The military estimates the current strength of the communists' guerrilla force at about 4,000 fighters, significantly down from more than 26,000 at its peak in the late 1980s, when the rebels also engaged in failed peace talks with Manila.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • The other side of Palawan Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor - The Inbox
    The other side of Palawan

    By Ellen T. Tordesillas Mention Palawan and what comes to mind are  Underground River and El Nido in the northern side of this richly-blessed province from its capital, Puerto Princesa. Three  weeks ago, we went to the southern side- in … Continue reading → …

  • What can void a new car warranty? James Deakin - Wheel Power
    What can void a new car warranty?

    "I was denied warranty once for changing my horn!" One very annoyed reader wrote. "I was told that placing a backup camera will void my warranty" said another. The others are best left in my private inbox as Yahoo! have a swear jar in the office that I do not feel like donating this week's pay to. Continue reading → …

  • Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files "Gutom (hunger)," Sen. Loren Legarda said is what’s in store for the Filipino people if destruction of the country's marine resources is not stopped. Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on Environment and Natural … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options