Gov’t hopes Reds will accept Duterte’s offer to reopen peace negotiations
MANILA, Philippines—The government is hoping the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) will once again sit in the negotiation table after President Rodrigo Duterte hinted at the possibility of reopening peace talks with the communist group.
Duterte on Thursday ordered Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, chief of the government panel in the negotiations with the CPP, to talk to the group’s founding chair Joma Sison anew and resume peace negotiations.
The President called his directive as his “last card” to achieve peace during his administration.
“We hope in good faith that Mr. Jose Maria Sison will seriously reconsider the government’s proposal that will be presented by Secretary Bello,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement Friday.
“Our search for all possible avenues to achieve a just and lasting peace on this matter is not so that the government can claim it has won and succeeded, but to show that both groups can co-exist, find common ground, and work together towards building a firm yet peaceful Philippine society, where there is no place for armed conflicts,” he added.
Duterte earlier this year officially shut down possible resumption of peace talks with the communist rebels, asking them to just “talk to the next President.”
But he explained that his pronouncement cannot be taken with finality because as a leader, he said that he is still “longing for peace.”
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