MANILA, Philippines — Despite rejections by communist leaders
of his proposal to resume peace talks and to hold a ceasefire, Armed Forces Chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said Tuesday that he was standing by his recommendation.
“Well, that’s my recommendation,” Esperon told INQUIRER.net in a chance interview at the Manila Hotel Tuesday, the second day of the Supreme Court-initiated summit on extrajudicial killings.
Esperon said that after he handed over his recommendation to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, it would be for her to decide whether to push through with the peace talks.
“That will be discussed by the Cabinet members and the National
Security Council,” Esperon said.
Earlier in the day, Luis Jalandoni of the National Democratic Front, the umbrella organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing the New People’s Army, said Esperon’s recommendation was “mere propaganda.”
“Esperon speaks with a forked tongue…his proposal for a three-year ceasefire as a precondition for the resumption of formal talks is mere cheap propaganda,” said Jalandoni in a statement.