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Gov’t chief negotiator still hopeful to achieve peace with Reds

/ 08:27 PM December 07, 2017

Labor Secretary and government chief peace negotiator Silvestre Bello III. ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./Presidential Photo

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga—Who said there is no hope for peace?

There is still a chance to attain a just and lasting peace with the communist rebels, Philippine government chief negotiator and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Thursday, despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist groups.

READ: Duterte signs Proclamation No. 360 terminating peace talks with NPA

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Bello said he personally felt sad with the recent development but still believed that there is still a chance to talk with the communist rebels.

“Alam ko naman na ang legacy na iniiisip ng ating Pangulo na ibigay sa ating bansa (The legacy that the President wanted to leave to the country) is a just, inclusive, and lasting peace. So ito ay (this is) major setback lang sa (in the) road to peace, one of the big humps in the road to peace,” Bello told reporters in a chance interview at the Clark International Airport here.

“Pero (But) I’m sure na yung humps would someday disappear and we will go back to the road to peace,” he added.

When asked if the CPP-NPA’s declaration of a Christmas truce could help in the resumption of the peace talks, the secretary said: “Why not?”

Bello said that there is always hope for peace as long as he and Duterte are living.

Duterte on Tuesday signed a proclamation declaring the CPP-NPA as terrorist groups. The proclamation, which was issued in accordance with the Human Security Act (Republic Act no. 10168), also allowed Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to instruct the Department of Justice to pursue charges against communist rebels. /jpv

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TAGS: Bello, Communism, CPP, duterte, NPA, Peace Talks, Terrorism
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