Estrada backs Duterte move vs NPA, hopes talks can be saved

Philippine Daily Inquirer | By: Aie Balagtas See | February 13, 2017

MANILA — Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has expressed support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of all-out war against the communist rebel New People’s Army.

Estrada, a former president, released a statement a day after the Communist Party of the Philippines called the all-out war as undemocratic and a policy that was bound to fail.

But according to Estrada, Duterte “is right” to suspend the ceasefire as a reaction to “the atrocities and ceasefire violations committed by the NPA bandits in the past weeks.”

Yet, at the same time, Estrada expressed hope that the two parties could still go back to the negotiating table.

“Hopefully [they can go back to the negotiating table]. These are NPAs anyway, and their main concern is land reform,” Estrada said.  SFM/rga