MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has said he would first consult the country’s top military officials on whether or not the Philippine government should resume peace talks with communist rebels.
This after the President revealed he was asked by Norwegian officials, led by special envoy to the Philippine peace talks Idun Tvedt, to “explore the possibility of talking again” with the communist rebels.
“I have to consult my military people. Why? Eh sila 'yung namamatay eh, hindi naman ako,” Duterte said in a speech Monday.
During their meeting last week, Duterte told Tvedt that the Philippines remains “committed to peace."
Duterte in November last year terminated peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) amid the New People’s Army’s (NPA) attacks against government troops amid ongoing negotiations.
He then labelled the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as a terror organization. In yet another controversial remark, he told state troops to shoot female rebels in their privates and also offered a P25,000 bounty for every rebel killed.
Meanwhile, Malacañang said peace talks are unlikely to resume now especially after the NPA attack on police Special Action Force personnel in Rizal last Sunday.
“Ngayon ay malabo. Ayan na naman nga po eh. Habang sila ay nagsasabi na nais nilang ipagpatuloy ang usaping [pang]kapayaan, patuloy ang paggamit nila ng dahas,” Roque said in a news briefing in Malacañang Tuesday.
“Bagama't nais natin ang kapayapaan, wala po atang katuturan na makipag-usap ng kapayaan kung sila ay hindi interested sa kapayapaan.”