PRESIDENT Rodrigo may consider reviving peace talks with communist rebels, Malacañang said on Saturday, describing the Chief Executive as a “listening president.”
In a radio interview, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte was paying attention to the plea of the communist rebels to continue the peace negotiations.
“I’m sure the President is a listening President and he will continue to consider the advice of his [Cabinet] secretaries, advisers and peace advisers,” Abella told government-run dzRB radio station.
“Let’s see in the coming days what would be the developments,” he added.
Abella issued the statement after Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison urged Duterte to address the discord between the communist rebels and the government and eventually resume peace talks.
Communist rebels last week ended a unilateral ceasefire it declared in August, saying the government failed to release hundreds of detained rebels and violated its own ceasefire declaration.
This prompted Duterte to cancel peace talks with the communists and ordered the arrest of its consultants released on bail to join the negotiations that began in August 2016 in Oslo, Norway.
The President also ordered the revocation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees between the government and the communists, in a bid to formally end the peace talks and be able to arrest freed rebel leaders.
The military has declared an all-out war on the CPP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army.
Sison, however, remained hopeful that the talks will resume even if the lifting of ceasefire have been observed by both parties.
“I propose [that Duterte]consult thoroughly with his negotiating panel and the peace advocates in his own Cabinet and others outside of his government, and encourage and allow back-channeling efforts to clarify misunderstandings and solve immediately the current problems,” Sison said.
“[The CPP wishes] to pursue with the government the bright prospects that started with the first round of formal talks in August 2016 and overcome the peace spoilers that run counter to the progress that has been achieved in the third round of formal talks,” he added.