Dureza still optimistic about stalled peace talks with Reds

Macel Ingles, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Jun 23 2018 11:10 AM

MANILA - Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza has expressed optimism about the prospect of the stalled peace talks with communist rebels.

Dureza also dismissed reports that the military was behind the cancellation and resetting of the fourth round of formal talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) previously set on June 28 in Oslo.

In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News at a Filipino community gathering at the Philippine Embassy in Oslo, Dureza said the decision was made by President Rodrigo Duterte after he was briefed by chief government negotiator Silvestre Bello III on the status of the backchannel talks at a recent cabinet meeting.

The backchannel negotiations were suspended after the government sought a 3-month review of all agreements with communist rebels.

The NDFP said both sides had “mutually determined to overcome obstacles and impediments to the peace negotiations.”

It added that during the 3-month review, it would conduct consultations on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).

For its part, the government will hold public consultations, which it hopes would galvanize support for the peace efforts, according to government peace negotiator Hernani Braganza in an earlier report.