Duterte orders Bello to talk with Joma Sison for possible revival of peace talks
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday that he would send Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to meet Netherlands-based Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison with the hope to resume peace talks.
Duterte disclosed this during his meeting in Albay with the disaster and local government officials who were affected by Typhoon "Tisoy" in the Bicol Region.
"I'm sending Bello. He is really a communist. He should go there, talk to them...I'm sending him back to Sison and talk to him," he said.
As a leader of the country, Duterte said he could not say he did not want to talk peace anymore.
"That is not a statement of a leader...the longing for peace is always there, not for military but for everybody," Duterte said.
He said his move to send Bello to Sison would be his "last card."
"When I say last card, my time is running out," said Duterte, whose term of office ends in June 2022.
Duterte said he and Bello used to support communism in the country.
In late 2017, Duterte terminated the formal peace talks with the CPP-New People's Army-National Democratic Front and even declared the CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations. Celerina Monte/DMS