CPP hits Duterte for 'arbitrarily terminating' peace talks

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Wednesday hit President Rodrigo Duterte for "arbitrarily terminating" peace talks with its umbrella organization, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

In a searing critique of the President, the CPP condemned Duterte for his abrupt backpedaling on the peace process, calling him a "doublespeaking thug who only recognizes his own rules."

Related: Duterte orders arrest of communist rebels' consultants: Immunity, along with peace talks, terminated

"Duterte has gone berserk and upturned the entire peace process facilitated by the Royal Norweigian Government," the CPP said.

It added, "He has wasted the achievements attained in peace talks over the past few months. He has crushed the people's aspiration to carry out peace negotiations as a means of resolving the roots of the ongoing civil war."

The CPP's statement is the first time the group has acknowledged the end of peace talks since Duterte announced its termination Saturday.

While the communist group had earlier reacted to news of the peace talks' end, it initially said it was willing to continue the negotiations despite Duterte's statement.

The group, however, has since changed its tune. Following the administration's suspension of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) on Tuesday, negotiations between the two parties have come to a complete halt.

Related: Gov't terminates JASIG, issues lookout bulletin vs. NDF consultants

The CPP also denounced the government's arrest of an NDF peace consultant detained last Monday-- prior to the President's official suspension of the JASIG. It warned against the rearrest of other NDFP consultants released by the government.

"Not only will rearresting the NDFP consultants be a gross violation of the JASIG, it will also be the height of treachery and will prove him incapable of respecting agreements," it said.

The CPP said there are no grounds for the arrest of its consultants, who are out on bail. It added, rearresting the consultants without outstanding court orders would be a violation of the law.

The group said peace negotiations under the Duterte administration were all talk and no action. It said contrary to Duterte's claims of having done everything to advance the peace talks, the President committed very little to its development.

"The consultants were never completely free as they constantly were under threat of rearrest the moment the peace talks did not go along his whims," the CPP said.

It also accused Duterte of siding with the U.S., despite the President's pronouncements detailing otherwise.

The CPP added, Duterte's declaration of an all-out-war versus the CPP only sets the stage for even more human rights violation by the administration.

"Judging by his record in his Oplan Tokhang, Duterte's all-out war is bound to set his fascist dogs in the AFP in a wild spree of human rights abuses against the people and gross violations of civil liberties," it said.

Despite this, the CPP said it would continue to fight for its cause.

"Duterte's declaration of an all-out war is an empty taunt. All past reactionary regimes have dreamt of defeating the NPA and the people's war. All have failed," the communist group said.

The communist group said with the antagonism fostered by the President's war on drugs, it's only a matter of time before people side with the revolution.

It called on Filipinos to build a united front against Duterte, and to vigorously oppose the alleged militarization and extrajudicial killings taking place in the President's "worsening tyrannical rule."