Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at a press conference in Manila (Source: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Philippine government announced that it will not participate in the fifth round of peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which is scheduled to be held in the Netherlands later this month.

Speaking with reporters on May 27, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said the Philippine government will not take part in the scheduled fifth round of peace negotiations with the NDFP – the political force of the left-wing insurgent group, until there is an "enabling environment" to proceed with the talks to end Asia's longest-running insurgency.

Dureza also cited the attacks by the New People's Army (NPA) – the armed force of the left-wing insurgent group and the latest order of the group to increase its attacks amid President Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao in the south of the country.

The Philippine government and the rebels signed "an agreement on interim joint ceasefire" during their April's peace talks in the Netherlands.

However, the government accused the NPA of attacking a food company, torching some equipment and disarming security guards in Mindanao on April 29.

NDFP negotiating panel senior adviser Luis Jalandoni said that it had received notice from the government about the cancellation.

The government and the group initially planned to resume peace talks from May 27 to June 1 in the town of Noordwijk in the Netherlands.

Norway is the mediator of the formal peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the insurgent group since 2001.

Meanwhile, Philippine security forces have stepped up air raids in the city of Marawi on Mindanao island.

It was the first time the Philippine army had used strong fire-power in Marawi as intelligence sources said Isnilon Hapilon, a commander of the Abu Sayyaf group and leader of a branch of self-claimed Islamic State (IS) in the Philippines, was hiding in the city.

According to the Philippine army, Islamic militants holed up in residential, governmental buildings and other places and may have taken about 15 hostages.

The violence in the city erupted on May 23, killing at least 13 soldiers, two police officers, two civilians and 31 gunmen.

The city of Marawi has about 200,000 people, but thousands of them have evacuated due to recent unrest.-VNA