MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will consult his security cluster if he will push through with the resumption of peace talks with communist rebels , Malacañang said Sunday.
In a statement, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President also needs to consider the lives lost and properties destroyed by the rebels before peace panels from both sides go back to the negotiating table.
"To resume talks necessitates President Duterte to consult first with the members of his security cluster, considering the many lives lost, civilian and government property destroyed," he said, adding that Duterte will also have to talk to Congress and the Judiciary on the matter.
In a speech Saturday, President Duterte said is open to the resumption of peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) but stressed that he cannot grant all of the communist rebels' demands
"Kasi ang gusto niyo apurahan and there are things which I cannot concede alone because I am not the only one in control of this government. I share power with Congress and the Supreme Court," he said in a speech at Matina Enclaves in Davao City.
Peace negotiations between the government and the NDFP broke down due to the alleged continuous assault by the New People’s Army, the communists' armed wing. The cancellation of talks, however, has not been formalized.
"In spite of PRRD's firm position to protect the nation from violence and terrorism, his fundamental goal is sustainable and lasting peace; which in this case begins with addressing the social injustice as the historical root of conflict," Abella said.