Duterte thinking of new peace panel to negotiate with communists
President Rodrigo Duterte is thinking of creating a new peace panel which will be talking to the communist rebels.
Speaking in Bisaya, Duterte in his campaign rally speech in Malibay City, Bukidnon said he is considering to form a new five-man panel that will negotiate with the CPP-NPA-NDF ( Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front).
“If you want to talk to me, I’ll send someone else. You talk to each other. I don’t want to talk anymore,” he said.
“I’ll look for another way and new people to talk to. Maybe one, two, or three from the military, and… Maybe around five? Two civilians and three from the military,” he added.
Duterte said he terminated the peace negotiations with the communist rebels in 2017 as it has not achieved anything.
He then hit CPP’s founding chairman Jose Maria Sison for being hot-headed, resulting in the talks to be be disrupted.
“It’s been three years but I wasn’t even able to achieve anything,” Duterte said.
“The talks were often interrupted because your chief is hot headed, that fool. Maybe it’s because of old age,” he said of Sison.
In a press briefing Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the creation of a new panel is still an idea and he will ask Duterte what is his rationale on choosing military men as the new members.
“Have you noticed the President has always made himself open to any talks on peace? Ever since he is saying that. He always said to give a small window,” said Panelo.
He said the localized peace talks that were earlier announced will still continue.
On the whether Sison will like the new panel or not, Panelo said it doesn’t matter and they will just talk peace with those who doesn’t listen to him.
“It doesn’t matter whether he likes or not. Then we will talk… to those who don’t listen to him because we feel that they don’t listen to him anymore,” he said.
Sison, in a statement, said the new panel that will consist of some military men will just be a war panel but the Palace said they will just ignore him.
Last 2017, Duterte terminated the peace talks due to the leftist rebels' continuous acts of violence and hostilities despite the peace process.
Shortly after the termination of the peace talks, Duterte also declared the CPP and NPA as terrorist organizations. Ella Dionisio/DMS