Gov't chief negotiator bullish on interim peace deal with Reds by June


Posted at Apr 08 2018 05:11 PM | Updated as of Apr 08 2018 07:36 PM

MANILA - Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Sunday expressed confidence that the government can ink an interim peace agreement with communist rebels some 2 months from now. 

Duterte last week asked his Cabinet to work on resuming peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the umbrella organization of the communist movement, 4 months after he called off talks. 

Bello, the government’s chief negotiator, said the peace deal that may be signed in June will include a unilateral ceasefire. 

The communist and government panels, he said, will discuss other contentious issues when they meet in Norway or the Netherlands. 

Duterte earlier promised to end the decades-old communist rebellion. The President, however, abandoned peace efforts in November, complaining of repeated rebel attacks. 

The President said he would resume the talks if the rebels stop collecting "revolutionary taxes" from businesses and torching equipment of construction firms. 

ANC, 8 April 2018