Duterte: Reds' 'lack of accountability' to blame for termination of peace talks

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 4) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he withdrew from the peace negotiations with communist rebels because they refused to answer for the crimes they've been accused of.

The President said accountability and subsequent sanctions are needed for a peaceful resolution to the decades-old insurgency.

"'Yung accountability, wala [There is no accountability]," Duterte said during the joint meeting of the anti-communist task force of the national government and of Mimaropa.

"Sabi ko may kulang dito. One ingredient is really the sanction sa mga ano, 'yung mga insurgents," he added.

[Translation: I said something is lacking. One ingredient really is the sanction on insurgents.]

Duterte has accused rebels of executing local government officials, as well as civilians suspected of being military informants.

Meanwhile, he defended the killings carried out by state forces, saying the government "would not kill for no reason."

The President's statements come days after the death of key communist leader Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines said Madlos was killed in a clash with troops, but his wife said he was unarmed and was ambushed on his way to get medical treatment.

Duterte abandoned the peace talks in 2017, as both sides accused each other of ceasefire violations.

READ: How peace talks with communist rebels failed