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Año: Duterte still wants to talk peace with Reds

LEGAZPI CITY — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Thursday said President Rodrigo Duterte would be willing to talk peace with top communist leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, but this would depend on backdoor negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines.Año also said he would prefer peace negotiations in the local level, but expressed support for Mr. Duterte’s offer to hold “one-on-one” talks with Sison, as discussed in last Monday’s Cabinet meeting.

Año, quoting Mr. Duterte, said, “Joma can come home. We will hold a man-to-man talk alone where he can lay down all things that he wanted and will talk what is good for the country.”

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The head of the Department of the Interior and Local Government was here to meet with the Bicol Regional Peace and Order Council chaired by Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara.

Still unresolved

At a press conference, Año lamented that the peace talks which began in 1986 during President Corazon Aquino’s term continues to be unresolved in Mr. Duterte’s administration.

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“You can just imagine that peace talks have been through … five administrations, but the pursuit for peace was elusive and it always failed because of so many concessions being demanded by the movement,” he said.

He claimed that the peace talks had been an ongoing cycle, that every time these concessions are agreed upon, the communist movement would hastily declare that the agreement did not show signs of sincerity on the part of government and would withdraw.

Also in this event, Año also said several municipalities in the country had no fire stations and fire trucks.

“So far, we have 200 municipalities that don’t have both fire truck and fire station.” he said. “Before President Duterte’s term ends, we’ll have fire trucks and fire stations in every municipality with P50-billion budget.”

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TAGS: Año, DILG, duterte, Joma Sison, peace negotiations, Peace Talks
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