MANILA - There is no formal termination of peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) yet, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said Thursday.
"The status is, the President announced the cancellation [of the peace talks.] Up to now there is no written cancellation," Dureza told reporters in a chance interview.
Dureza explained that the withdrawal of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), an assurance of legal immunity of rebel peace negotiators, would formally signal the end of talks.
Duterte cancelled peace talks with the Left following a string of rebel attacks on government forces, including an ambush on his security men in Arakan, North Cotabato in July.
Ending the decades-old communist insurgency had been a top priority for Duterte, but talks went on and off under the feisty leader, who accused the communists of being two-faced because of their persistent armed attacks against state forces.
Friction between Duterte and communist leaders escalated when the President placed the entire Mindanao under martial law to address the terror threat posed by Islamic State-linked terrorists, who have laid siege on Marawi City.
Leftist leaders and politicians have also slammed Duterte's policies, such as the war on drugs.