Communists released before Philippine peace talks in Norway

PhilippinePhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte views the body of a soldier inside a casket, who was killed in an encounter with communist rebels at a military Camp Panacan in Davao city, in southern Philippines August 7, 2016. REUTERS/Lean Daval Jr

Twelve communist guerrilla leaders are released a few days before the Philippine government and the country’s Communist guerrillas initiate a new round of peace talks in Norway, reports Reuters.

Negotiations will start on Monday next week and aims to resolve a conflict that has lasted for over 50 years. More than 40,000 people have died.

The previous round of negotiations got stuck in 2012 when the government refused to honor the Communists demand that the guerrilla leaders who had been imprisoned for decades, had to be released.

According to Philippine police chief Ronald dela Rosa the release of these twelve people is “one of the most positive achievements in many years.” It is hoped that it will contribute to progress in negotiations.

The police chief stressed that they are only released on bail, but not exonerated. Reuters news agency reports that one of the guerrillas’ top executives, Tirso Alcantara, is among those being freed. He was wounded in a shootout with soldiers five years ago.

Communist guerrillas top executives, Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma, are still jailed.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today