Duterte says peace talks will resume if Reds declare truce
Months after he said he no longer wanted peace talks with the communists, President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday told the rebel group to declare a ceasefire if they want to resume peace negotiations.
“Gusto ninyo balikan ang (If you want to resume the) peace talks, you declare ceasefire or nothing,” Duterte said in a speech during the 17th founding anniversary of Digos City. “And if say you want another war, be my guest.”
Duterte ended the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front in July following a series of attacks of its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA) against government forces.
The President has repeatedly slammed the NPA for the attacks staged during the peace talks. He also said he will not allow the resumption of peace talks unless the NPA stopped its extortion activities.
The fifth round of peace talks with the rebels was suspended on May 27, after the government panel withdrew from the negotiating table due to the order of the CPP to NPA guerrillas to intensify attacks against security forces.
In his speech on Friday, Duterte reiterated the need for the rebels to declare a ceasefire before peace talks could resume.
“There will be no talks until you declare a ceasefire,” he said.
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