Wala na, finish na! Duterte terminates government peace panel members

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By Prince Golez

The Office of the President has dissolved the designation of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III as Chairman of the Government Peace Negotiating Panel for talks with the communist rebels.

The appointments of Antonio Arellano, Hernani Branganza, Rene Sarmiento, and Angela Librado-Trinidad as government peace panel members were also terminated.

“To ensure uninterrupted delivery of public service, you are hereby directed to turn over all official documents, papers and properties in your possession to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity,” the letter signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea by order of President Rodrigo Duterte last March 18, 2019 said.

Their termination will be effective immediately, it stated.

In November 2017, Duterte “formally terminated” the peace talks with the National Democratic Front-Communist Party of the Philippines-The New People’s Army (NDF-CPP-NPA) by signing Proclamation No. 360.

“In spite of the best efforts exerted by this Administration, the NDF-CPP-NPA failed to show its sincerity and commitment in pursuing genuine and meaningful peace negotiations as it engaged in acts of violence and hostilities, endangering the lives and properties of innocent people,” the President said.