Duterte vows to release all political prisoners
DAVAO CITY – Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he would release all political prisoners once peace talks with the rebels start.
“This is part of confidence-building,” he told reporters in a press briefing here.
“I will welcome them back to society,” he added.
The presumptive President-elect said he would grant amnesty and pardon to all political prisoners in the country.
“They can even join the peace talks,” he said.
His only precondition was for rebels to join the peace talks.
“You must come here. We must be talking to each other,” he said.
Duterte has previously said that he is open to revive the stalled peace talks under the Aquino administration.
He even announced that he was offering communist leaders positions in the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“We have accepted the offer,” said Luis Jalandoni, peace negotiator for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), in a radio interview last week.
Jalandoni said the CPP and the NDFP were very happy about Duterte’s statements.
“It shows his trust and confidence in the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front,” Jalandoni added.
He said that after hearing about Duterte’s statements, the CPP and the NDFP immediately started preparing a list of nominees to the positions.