Duterte: Peace talks depend on AFP
President Rodrigo Duterte said the Armed Forces of the Philippines would decide whether peace talks with communist rebels would resume, saying “they’re the ones who are dying.”
In a speech before members of the Chinese Filipino Business Club Inc. on Monday night, Mr. Duterte said although he met with Norwegian officials who had been facilitating the talks, he would have to give weight to what the military would say about the talks.
But the President’s spokesperson, former human rights lawyer Harry Roque, said rebels were engaged in double talk. “While they are saying that they want to continue the peace talks, they continue to use force,” Roque said.
Mr. Duterte, however, reiterated his offer of P25,000 reward for every rebel that soldiers would kill.
He said he planned to increase the offer to up to P100,000. “No need to bring me the body. Bring me the head. Put it in Styrofoam (container), show it to me,” he told his businessmen audience. —Leila B. Salaverria
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