Gov't still pursuing peace
despite new NPA attacks -- Bello
MANILA, March 14 (PNA) -- Government of the Republic of the Philippines
(GRP) Peace Panel Chief Negotiator Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Tuesday
said efforts to achieve lasting peace continue despite the recent attacks of
the New People's Army (NPA) in North Cotabato and Abra.
"We believe the fresh wave of NPA assaults will not put in peril our desire
to pursue peace," he said in a statement.
Bello added, "We remain firm and confident that we can still proceed
according to the agreement we just signed in Utrecht to swiftly restore our
respective ceasefires while we work on the terms of an interim bilateral
Bello said both parties are still pursuing the peace talks and have agreed
to investigate the recent incidents.
"We are really saddened by these unfortunate incidents. We have communicated
with our counterparts and they vowed to look into it. In the meantime, we
urge combatants to exercise restraint," he said.
On Sunday, five policemen were injured after NPA attacked a police station
in Barangay Poblacion, Malibcong town by detonating an improvised bomb.
A day after the North Cotabato incident, armed men burned a passenger bus in
Sitio Silang Barangay, Brgy. San Vicente, town of Makilala.
The bus was then carrying 17 passengers and was bound for Davao City from
Marbel, South Cotabato. (PNA)