Duterte invites Tiamzons for dinner at Palace
PRESIDENT Duterte on Monday admitted “rumblings” in the Armed Forces of the Philippines as he cozied up to leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NDFP) who remained “enemies of the state” in the eyes of the military.
In a speech in Malacañang, Mr. Duterte said: “I’ve heard that there are rumblings because they are natural enemies … there are many who died from the military. But I told them, you know guys, I am your President, I am your Commander in Chief. That is a title for war. Unfortunately, I am not a war-time President.”
Mr. Duterte said his “main task” was to seek peace in the country, which was why even before he set foot in Malacañang, he had touched base with leaders of the CPP-NDFP on the possibility of restarting talks that were stalled during the Aquino administration.
The President was scheduled to meet with the “entire communist hierarchy” led by the Tiamzon couple, who were released recently as part of the peace negotiations, for dinner at the Palace after a meeting with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
“This would really be the first time that the enemies of the state are here for—it’s part of what you would call civility. Just because we are in a war doesn’t mean to say that we have to be war at all times. We can always talk and maybe, just maybe, it will bring peace to the land,” said Mr. Duterte.
The decades-long rebellion mounted by CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison in the late 1960s has created deep enmity between its armed unit, the New People’s Army, and the AFP due to the high body count on both sides.
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