Resumption of peace talks with Reds awaits Duterte’s go-signal

President Rodrigo Duterte (Cerilo Ebrano/Photoville International)

President Rodrigo Duterte (Cerilo Ebrano/Photoville International)

PHILIPPINES — President Rodrigo Duterte has signified recently his intention to resume talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines if they prove their sincerity to talk peace with the government.

He also laid what he wanted the rebel group to do in order for the peace negotiations to proceed.

These include releasing the rebels’ prisoners of war; stopping extortion activities or the collection of revolutionary taxes, and ceasing the destruction of government equipment.

READ: Malacañang enumerates compelling reasons for the resumption of GPH-NDF peace talks

Meanwhile, Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Jess Dureza clarified that these are not conditions since there are no preconditions on the negotiating table.

On the other hand, Government Peace Panel Chief and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the peace talks may be an agendum during today’s Cabinet meeting with the president.

It is also expected that President Rodrigo Duterte will give his directive on the terminated peace talks and the supposed bilateral ceasefire deal.

“Before we resume, whatever the President orders, we will talk about the ceasefire first,” said Sec. Bello.

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Meanwhile, on the communist rebels’ demand to remove military deployment in areas where they plan to release six prisoners of war, Sec. Bello said the government and the NPA has an ongoing arrangement on the matter.

“That is confidential, so we cannot just reveal things. There is an ongoing arrangement,” he said.

It can be noted that President Duterte ordered to cease the peace talks after several members of the military were killed during an attack perpetrated by communist rebel group despite the implemented unilateral ceasefire.

Due to this, the supposed meeting of both sides regarding a bilateral ceasefire deal in February, as well as the fourth round of the formal peace talks on April 2 to 6 in Oslo Norway were postponed. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

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