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Palace eyes ‘localized’ peace talks with Reds

07:29 PM July 05, 2018

The government is eyeing localized peace talks, Malacañang said on Thursday after the resumption of talks with the communist rebels was postponed.

“Ang alternatibo na pupuwedeng ipatupad ng gobyerno ay iyong localized peace talks,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.

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Roque, however, said the localized peace talks should not concede any aspect of governance.

“There will be a meeting of this Cabinet cluster on July 12 to finalize the guidelines for localized peace talks,” he said.

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The Palace official said the prospect of localized peace talks has been luring in surrenderers from the communists.

“I know that local government officials have been conducting localized peace talks resulting in surrenders, that’s why bulk of the surrenderers that we have particularly in the Davao Region, is a result of negotiations between the fighters themselves and the local government units,” he said.

Criticizing Joma

Meanwhile, Roque criticized exiled communist leader Jose Ma. Sison and called him “irrelevant” now that the peace talks were suspended.

“I’m not under compulsion to comment on anything Joma says. Now that peace talks are not being held, he’s completely irrelevant as far as I’m concerned,” Roque said.

“Joma Sison can say anything he wants, that’s his opinion; he’s even living ten thousand miles away. So I don’t see how he can even be relevant,” he added.

Command conference

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The issue on the peace talks, Roque said, were discussed during the joint command conference of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

During the conference, Roque said Duterte was not closing its doors on the resumption of peace talks but insisted that the conditions imposed by President remain.

Duterte had earlier postponed the resumption of peace talks scheduled in June. — Carol Balita, INQUIRER.net Intern

/vvp

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