Duterte reveals 'backchannel' talks with Reds

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 07 2017 05:35 PM

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday revealed that there are "backchannel talks" with the communist rebels following the breakdown last month of the peace negotiations.

Speaking to reporters, Duterte refused to reveal details, saying he does not want to “spoil” developments.

“Hang on, hang on… I must admit there’s a backchanneling,” he said.

Duterte last month terminated the government’s peace talks with the communist rebels following clashes between government troops and communist fighters. The communist side’s repeated calls for the release of about 400 political prisoners was also blamed for the collapse of the talks.

Despite the setback in reaching a peace deal, the president last week hinted that the government may agree to return to the negotiation table.

Duterte however said before negotiations can resume, communist rebels must cease from attacking government troops and stop collecting so-called revolutionary taxes.