Reds open to resumption of peace talks


In this photo, taken on Nov. 23, 2017, Fidel Agcaoili (left), chief negotiator of the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines, and his government counterpart, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, shake hands after the signing of supplemental guidelines of the Joint Monitoring Committee that will facilitate the processing of human rights complaints during the third round of peace talks in January. (Photo by KARLOS MANLUPIG / Inquirer Mindanao)

LUCENA CITY – The leader of the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) casually received President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement that he is not closing the door for the possible resumption of the stalled peace talks with the Maoist-inspired insurgents.

“The position of the NDFP is clear: it is open to resume peace negotiations with the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) under the Duterte regime anytime the latter so decides to avail of this avenue to bring about basic social, economic and political reforms for the benefit of the Filipino people,” Fidel Agcaoili, NDFP chair, said in a short solicited reaction from his base in Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The NDFP is the umbrella group of all communist-led underground organizations in the country that has been conducting on-and-off peace talks with the government since 1986.

Earlier, Duterte declared that his administration is still open to resuming the peace negotiation with the communist rebels.

READ: NDFP consultant optimistic on peace talks resumption in 2019

“We’d like you to know that we are keeping the fire burning. Hindi mo pwedeng sarhan e (You cannot close doors),” Duterte said in a command conference in Pili town in Camarines Sur province.

The President said he will “leave even a small opening” for the resumption of the peace negotiation as long as the rebels will not demand a coalition government.

The peace talks between the government and the NDFP broke down last year as the administration cited the continued attacks by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels against government troops despite ongoing negotiations.

The NPA rebels have been waging war against the government for the past 50 years, which is considered as the world’s longest-running communist rebellion. /jpv

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