MANILA - Top communist leader Jose Maria Sison on Sunday rejected the government's push for localized peace talks, calling it a "cheap trick" that has failed many times before.
Sison earlier said it is open to resuming peace talks with the administration after President Rodrigo Duterte softened his stance on the communist rebels.
But Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Sunday the government is sticking to the localized peace talks and they are only waiting for Duterte to sign an executive order before they begin.
"Localized peace talks are a cheap trick that was tried so many times before," Sison told ANC, stressing this only worked during the time when the movement's leadership was "stupid."
Duterte has called on the rebels to surrender saying the government will provide them housing and job opportunities.
But Sison said Duterte was stupid for thinking the rebels will just surrender. He said the revolutionary movement will continue as long as the roots of armed conflict persist.
The Duterte administration had terminated peace talks and backchannel negotiations with the Reds last year, citing continued attacks by the communist party's armed wing, New People's Army.
After this, Duterte had also moved to declare members and supporters of the NPA as "terrorists."