MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) will support the possible resumption of peace talks between the government and the communist movement if the rebels demonstrate sincerity, an official said Wednesday.
"Lahat naman ay gustong magkaroon ng lasting peace (Everyone wants lasting peace)," PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. John Bulalacao told reporters in Camp Crame.
"Dapat lang bigyang pansin ng NPA (New People's Army) na maging sinsero sa anumang mapag-uusapan. Iwasan na ang violent activities laban sa security forces at maging sa civilians (The NPA just has to be sincere in the talks. Avoid violent activities against security forces and civilians)."
Bulalacao issued the remark after President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday expressed openness to the possible resumption of peace talks with the communists if they stop violence and extortion.
"Gusto namin ang decision ni Pangulong Duterte tungkol dito (We favor President Duterte's decision about this)," Bulalacao said.
He said that while government has always been sincere in peace negotiations, rebels would usually take advantage of the peace talks to boost forces, recruit new members and carry out violent activities.
Duterte cancelled the peace talks and tagged the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army as terrorists late last year, citing the rebels' continued attacks on state forces.
He then ordered the mass arrest of consultants for the National Democratic Front.
Pending the revival of peace negotiations, Bulalacao said the PNP would continue its efforts to monitor and arrest leaders and consultants of the communist movement.