MANILA — President Corazon Aquino today named government negotiators for talks aimed at ending the 17-year-old Communist insurgency and reiterated that she would not give in to the rebels' demands for a coalition government.
At a news conference, Aquino identified her chief negotiators as Agriculture Minister Ramon Mitra and former Sen. Jose Diokno, chairman of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights.
She said she did not know when formal cease-fire talks with the Communist Party and its military arm, the New People's Army, would begin. Preliminary contacts have been made, she has said.
The rebels have named Satur Ocampo, a former journalist and a ranking Communist Party leader, as their chief negotiator.
Mitra is a former journalist and was a close associate of Aquino's assassinated husband, Benigno S. Aquino Jr., in the U.S.-style Senate former President Ferdinand E. Marcos abolished when he imposed martial law in 1972.