Philippine gov’t, insurgent group resume peace talks hinh anh 1Insurgents in the Philippines. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on April 2 resumed peace talks in Oslo, Norway, but failed to reach any deal with both sides warning of violence to come.

This is the fourth round of negotiations between the Philippine Government and the NDFP.

In a statement, Chief of Staff of the Philippine Armed Forces, General Eduardo Ano said that the Government could not accept a unilateral ceasefire because the New People's Army (NPA) group, an armed branch of the NDFP, used the ceasefire to extort money from businesses and people.

Meanwhile, the militant group confirmed there is no unilateral ceasefire as the Government does not declare one.

Head of the NDFP delegation Fidel Agcaoili said on March 31 that a bilateral ceasefire should be reached as soon as possible, with the NDFP open to a bilateral truce. 

Head of the Government’s delegation Silvestre Bello, however, said that negotiations would be difficult and a breakthrough was uncertain. The Government wants a ceasefire to be the first item on the agenda to reduce or end hostility, said Bello.

In early February, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the termination of peace talks and launched an all-out attack against the insurgents following the killing of some soldiers. The NPA was accused of killing the soldiers. Norway persuaded both sides to resume negotiations after unofficial talks in the Netherland’s Utrecht city in the previous month.

The fight between the Government and the NPA has claimed about 30,000 lives since the 1960s. President Duterte regarded a peace agreement with the NDFP as a top priority of the new government when he took office in June 2016. Accordingly, leaders of the militant group were released and the two sides have called temporary ceasefires to pave the way for peace talks. The first talks took place in Norway last August.-VNA