Duterte tells gov't panel, Reds: Just start talks


Posted at Mar 13 2017 07:04 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte met with Communist Party of the Philippines leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, and other heads of the National Democratic Front in Malacañang last September. ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he has ordered the government panel to start talks with communist rebels despite the absence of the "compelling" reasons.

"I just gave my orders to start talking. There is no concrete proposal, there’s not even a list of what should be taken up," he said in a media briefing in Malacañang on Monday.

The President said he is keen on stopping the killings between the communist rebels and the military.

"As a Filipino, I'm still interested in preventing the slaughter of a Filipino by a Filipino," he said.

Duterte cancelled talks with communist leaders last month after a series of armed clashes between government and rebel forces. 

Malacañang previously revealed the compelling reasons set by Duterte to resume talks: ceasing of extortion, ceasing the ambushes on soldiers, ending burning of property, and ending provocative and hostile actions.

A joint statement released Sunday said the military and New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas agreed to restore their respective unilateral ceasefire declarations before the talks resume in the first week of April. 

In an interview with ANC on Monday, former National Democratic Front consultant Satur Ocampo said it was Duterte who first initiated the resumption of talks through Peace Process Adviser Jesus Dureza.