MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday again stressed that peace talks with communist rebels may only resume if the New People’s Army (NPA) declares a ceasefire.
“Gusto ninyo balikan ang peace talks? You declare a ceasefire or nothing,” Duterte said in his speech at the 17th founding anniversary of Digos City.
Peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) were suspended in July following a string of attacks against government forces.
It set back what was a promising revival of the long-stalled peace negotiations after Duterte vowed to achieve peace across all fronts, including with Moro rebels, at the start of his term.
On Thursday, Malacañang described government's relationship with the Left as "a little bit complicated," as militant lawmakers reassessed its ties with the supermajority at the House of Representatives.
This after the powerful bicameral Commission on Appointments rejected two left-leaning cabinet members, peasant leader Rafael Mariano as Agrarian Reform chief, and activist Judy Taguiwalo as Social Welfare Secretary.