Duterte allows final attempt to talk peace with insurgents | Inquirer News

Duterte allows final attempt to talk peace with insurgents

By: - Correspondent / @inqmindanao
/ 10:14 PM April 27, 2018

DAVAO CITY—President Rodrigo Duterte said the resumption of talks between the government and the communist rebels, which he had ordered, would be the final straw in his efforts to make peace with the insurgents.

In his speech delivered during the 102nd annual communication of the Grand Mason here, which was not open to the media, on Thursday the President said the talks should resume in 60 days from the day he ordered Peace Secretary Jesus Dureza to find ways to reopen it.

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It was on April 4 when he asked Dureza to look for opportunity to reopen the talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF).

READ: Gov’t, NDFP preparing to resume peace talks – Bello

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“I will give you and me 60 days, a very small window. And this would be the last,” Duterte said in his speech, the transcript of which was released by Malacañang on Friday.

Duterte canceled the talks in November over rising violence blamed on the New People’s Army (NPA), especially in the countryside.

“So we are talking now. (Labor Secretary Silvestre) Bello and Dureza are there. Two months, 60 days. If we fail, we fail forever,” he added.

Duterte revealed that the military did not like the idea the talks would be resumed.

“In military, they don’t like it,” he said.

“But I told them, look, and the police, not but not some. But not—But not all also. I said ‘look. I am not a soldier. I am not a policeman. I am a government worker whose task is to find peace for my country. So allow me to do it because that is my job. Or would you rather that we continue the carnage of killing each other and find no peace for all time?’” Duterte recounted what he told the military.

Duterte said he was ready to spend for peace and also asked Communist Party of the Philippines founding chair Jose Ma. Sison to come home.

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“Well, come home. Do not ask me to go to the Netherlands because we are fighting for power in the Philippines. You come here. I will spend for your trip, billeting, and board, and all. So long as your soldiers are in a camp. Bring your firearms there. Do not go out with arms. Stop extortion and declare a ceasefire,” he said.

Duterte said he was ready to “tinker about the social ills, how to improve lives of people, how to remove poverty.”

“But sovereign power cannot be a bargaining chip,” he said, adding that “I cannot, for the life of me, give it to you even if I wanted to.”

“Why? Because a coalition government would entail the sharing of powers. And the Constitution says that sovereignty resides in the Filipino people,” he said.

Duterte said he would be “violating the Constitution and the army and the police” if he agreed to a coalition government with the rebels. “If it’s culpable enough, would be a good reason for me to go out of office forcibly. That is not really an option. Remove that. No coalition government ever. We can talk of how to formulate economics and everything,” he added.

Duterte also said he was just sharing “Sison’s temperament.”

“So if he throws something that is not to my liking, I also would b*lls*it him because I have to stand for the sovereignty of the country,” he added.

“I will deliver the rice and the viands there in your camp. Then we talk. But no coalition government,” Duterte said. /jpv

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TAGS: communist, Dureza, Peace Talks, Rodrigo Duterte
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