MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte would still be open to revive peace talks with communist rebels despite an ongoing word war between him and Jose Maria Sison, the exiled leader of the group, his peace adviser said Tuesday.
Duterte scrapped the negotiations last year, citing continued attacks by the New People's Army. His Department of Justice also moved to have the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) declared as terrorist organizations.
But Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said there is still hope as the President himself has asked for a copy of a draft peace deal with the rebels.
A meeting with rebel leaders and peace consultants may still take place before the year ends, he said.
"If there's an opportunity again to talk peace with the CPP-NDF, I'm sure he will open it. Kaya nga sa latest statement niya, I don't want to meet with you but meet with my cabinet members but if you have a final draft present it with me, I'll present it to the cabinet and we'll discuss it."
Catch Dureza's full interview with Karen Davila on ANC's Headstart on Wednesday, 8:00 am.