Duterte hints at possible revival of peace talks with Reds
President Rodrigo Duterte hinted on Friday the possible revival of the peace talks with the communist rebels.
“Ang problema ko na lang is itong terrorism, which is really ISIS. Yung Maute was just the face, ‘yung Maute ano talaga, ideology ’to. So I’m facing that. I have to talk to the NPA still. And there’s the droga, which remains to be a serious problem for our country,” he said in a speech during the launch of Cebu Pacific’s 7th domestic hub in Misamis Oriental.
This development came as early as Thursday when Duterte met with Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza and Labor and government peace panel chairperson Secretary Silvestre Bello III at the Malago Clubhouse in the Presidential Security Group Compound in Malacañang.
The President previously said he would no longer pursue peace talks with the communist rebels, saying it’s a “waste of money.” He even said he would leave it up to the next president to pursue the peace talks with the communists.
Sought for comment on Duterte’s latest remark, Dureza said in a text message, “Please take it as he said himself.”
Asked about his meeting with the chief executive on Thursday, Dureza declined to disclose the details.
“[I] can’t release anything muna about the meeting. We will at the proper time,” he said.
The fifth round of peace talks with the rebels was suspended on May 27 when the government panel withdrew from the negotiating table after the CPP ordered NPA guerrillas to intensify attacks against security forces. Another round of peace talks was supposed to be held but didn’t push through.
In July, Duterte ended the peace talks with the communists following a series of attacks carried out by the NPA against government forces.
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