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Lorenzana backs resumption of peace talks with communists

/ 06:56 PM September 18, 2017

In this photo, taken Sept. 15, 2017, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana answers questions from the media during the Mindanao Hour held in Malacanang’s Kalayaan Hall. —Photo by JOAN BONDOC / Philippine Daily Inquirer

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday said he supported President Rodrigo Duterte’s readiness to resume peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

“Hindi pa siya officially [declared], pero I support that also,” Lorenzana told reporters in a press conference at Camp Aguinaldo.

On Sunday, Duterte said he was not against the idea of the resuming of peace talks. But he said he would have to discuss it first with other branches of the government.

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Lorenzana said that the President would want a bilateral ceasefire as one of the conditions for the talks.

“May condition siyang hinigingi eh, yung there will be a bilateral ceasefire na hindi pwedeng mag-usap na habang nagbabakbakan… I support that move of the President,” he said.

Talks between the government and the communist rebels were stalled due to the continuing attacks by the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Both sides were supposed to tackle the fifth round of negotiations when it broke down last May. /atm

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TAGS: CPP, Delfin Lorenzana, NDFP, NPA, Philippine peace talks, Rodrigo Duterte
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