MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said he does not oppose resuming peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
Duterte said he has done his best to meet the communist rebels’ demands, but he cannot grant all of them because he has to consult first with lawmakers and the judiciary.
“Kasi ang gusto niyo apurahan and there are things which I cannot concede alone because I am not the only one in control of this government. I share power with Congress and the Supreme Court. Do not ask for something in a hurry and those which are not acceptable for other branches,” Duterte said in a speech at Matina Enclaves in Davao City.
“Pag-usapan natin ng masinsinan. I am not adversarial to the idea. Let me sort out first the other branches of government,” he added.
The president said he also cannot ignore the sacrifices made by members of the military and the police force.
“Do not be in a hurry because we have been fighting for the last 50 years and you cannot just ignore the period of violence and killing on both sides and you have to consider also the position of the military and the police who invested their lives,” he said.
Peace negotiations between the government and the rebels broke down due to the alleged continuous assault by the New People’s Army.
However, the cancellation of talks has not been formalized,
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said Thursday.