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Aquino Rejects Rebels' Talk Conditions

November 23, 1986|Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines — Conditions imposed by leftist rebels for resuming peace talks with the government are unacceptable, a negotiator for President Corazon Aquino said Friday.

The Communist-dominated National Democratic Front suspended talks earlier this month after the slaying of leftist leader Rolando Olalia. The rebels said they wanted a "period of reflection" to see how the government pursues Olalia's killers and whether Aquino can rein in military officers who allegedly oppose a settlement.

"We have sent word to the NDF that we wish to resume the talks," Ramon Mitra told reporters. But he said the conditions spelled out by the rebels were unacceptable.

Mitra said the inquiry into Olalia's killing had no place in the talks.

Satur Ocampo, one of the National Democratic Front negotiators, said Thursday that the front fears that Aquino has lost control of the armed forces, and that the government must put an end to differences within the Cabinet regarding peace with Communists.

Aquino has ordered her negotiators to seek a resumption of talks, which began in August, in order to achieve a cease-fire with the rebels this month.

Mitra would not describe the order as a deadline for negotiations, but said, "I think she feels we have talked long enough."

Aquino's policy of negotiations has been harshly criticized by Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile.

The Communist insurgency began 17 years ago.

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