Duterte says peace talks with Reds just ‘a waste of money’
“Gastos lang yan.”
This was how President Rodrigo Duterte responded when asked if he was still keen on the resumption of the peace talks with the communist rebels during an interview with state-run PTV4 aired on Friday night.
“Wala namang mangyari diyan,” he said when asked if he would still send Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza and chief government negotiator Seilvestre Bello III to Norway.
Norway is the third party facilitator between the Philippine government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
Duterte had previously said he was open to resume peace talks if the communists declare a ceasefire.
In July, Duterte ended the peace talks with the communists following a series of attacks carried out by the NPA against government forces. He even said that he will not allow the resumption of peace talks unless the NPA stops 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 after the CPP ordered NPA guerrillas to intensify attacks against security forces. /kga
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