The scene of the attack on the presidential vehicles in Mindanao province (Photo: AFP/VNA)
 

Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on July 19 threatened to end peace talks progress with an opposite militant group, hours after an attack on the presidential vehicles wounding at least four of his military bodyguards.

Duterte directed not to resume official peace talks with the New People’s Army (NPA) militant group unless the guerrillas promise to stop attacks on government soldiers in southern Mindanao province, said a statement issued by the presidential palace.

To end two-month impasse of the negotiation progress, Duterte planned to send negotiators to discuss a possible bilateral ceasefire agreement, the government statement said.

But it warned that for formal peace talks to resume, the rebels must commit to suspending operations against the military and the police and stop all their extortion activities.

The government blamed the NPA for the attack on two Presidential Security Group vehicles along a highway on the main southern island of Mindanao.  Duterte was not in the area when the clash happened.

The attack came when the government was fighting against Islamic State-inspired gunmen in Marawi city on Mindanao island.

President Duterte on July 17 requested the country’s Congress to consider extending martial law in Mindanao until December 31 after the two-month martial law almost came to an end, which was opposed by the NPA.

[Philippine President asks Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao]

The peace negotiations between the government and the NPA have been interrupted since Duterte took office last year and unilateral and bilateral ceasefires did not work.-VNA