More than two weeks after calling off the peace talks with the communist organizations, President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said that government negotiators may still revive the peace process between the two sides given that it is the right time.
According to Duterte, there is still hope for the government to continue its peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CCP-NPA-NDF) despite their ongoing feud.
“I will pursue peace with the rebels. Eh nagkalabuan na nga. Let’s give time for a calling off with the Communist Party of the Philippines,” Duterte said, “Sila Bebot pati si itong isa, si ano, sabi ko muna, ‘Pahinga muna kayo because nagkakalabuan tayo.”
Duterte also emphasized that to continue peace talks would mean a bilateral ceasefire while negotiations take place.
“You know, there are still human elements involved. Hindi mo pwedeng babuyin ‘yang mga sundalo. You start the talk, let us raise it to the level of walang atake. Absolutely. The best way there is just to keep silent,” he added.
This was the position of Duterte during his speech at the 84th-anniversary celebration of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Bulacan.
On November 23, Duterte signed Proclamation 360 declaring the termination of the peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF. The President’s actions was then followed by issuing a declaration tagging the Reds as a terrorist organization.