NDF negotiators want to meet Duterte for possible resumption of peace talks
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday that the two top National Democratic Front (NDF) officials want to meet him for the possible resumption of the peace talks.
In a speech in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Duterte said the request came from NDF chief negotiator Fidel Agcaoili and senior adviser Luis Jalandoni, who are both based in the Netherlands.
“I will not keep it a secret. I don’t want (it to be) confidential. They will go here and they want to talk to me,” he said.
But the President warned that the two consultants could be arrested when they go back to the country.
“The problem is they will be arrested,” he said.
Duterte said he called for a cluster meeting with the military to decide what he would do next.
“So I called a cluster meeting with the military, they told me maybe, just maybe (we can negotiate again). It's not a very big margin there. It's just maybe,” he said.
He said he will make the announcement after his return from his trips to Singapore and Papua New Guinea where he will attend this week the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit and the Asia Pacific Ecomic Cooperation Leaders' Meeting, respectively.
Agcaoili, in a statement, confirmed that they have a scheduled trip to the Philippines in connection with their work.
“Ms. Coni Ledesma and I have a scheduled a trip to the Philippines this month in connection with our work as members of the NDFP component in the Joint Monitoring Committee under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL),” he said.
He added they will be accompanied by Senior Adviser to the NDFP Negotiating Panel Luis Jalandoni.
“We have also been invited to meet with the new Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines,” he said.
He said they welcome the opportunity to meet with Duterte “unless he does not want to or his military is against it."
Duterte terminated the peace talks with the Maoist group last year due to the New People's Army's continued commission of violence and extortion activities.
The Duterte administration is also asking the court to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA as terrorist organizations. Ella Dionisio/DMS