Duterte open to resume talks with Reds
President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed openness to resume again the formal peace talks with the communist rebels.
"Now, if you want to resume the talks, I am not averse to the idea, but let me sort out first the other branches of government," said Duterte in a speech during his meeting with Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) George Ca?ete Rupinta, who was released by the New People's Army on Friday after he was seized in June in Davao Oriental.
He said he shares power with the Congress and the Supreme Court.
"And there are things which I cannot concede alone because I am not the only one in control of this government. So do not ask for something in a hurry and for those which are not really acceptable to the other branches of government. That's difficult," he said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front has been asking for the release of all its members who have been detained.
Duterte said the government and the rebels have to talk seriously.
"Do not be in a hurry because we have been fighting for the last 50 years. And you just cannot ignore that period of violence and killing on both sides. And you have to consider also the position of the military who invested and the police, who invested lives there," he added.
In a statement on Sunday, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said to resume talks necessitates Duterte to consult first with the members of his security cluster, considering the many lives lost, civilian and government property destroyed before returning to the negotiating table with the CPP-NPA-NDFP.
The President likewise has to confer with the other branches of government regarding matters require their consent or approval.
"In spite of PRRD's (Duterte) firm position to protect the nation from violence and terrorism, his fundamental goal is sustainable and lasting peace; which in this case begins with addressing the social injustice as the historical root of conflict," he said.
Duterte decided to terminate the talks with the communist rebels due to their atrocities despite the ongoing negotiations. Celerina Monte/DMS