‘NOT THE RIGHT TIME YET’ | Malacañang postpones peace talks with Reds

4 months ago

MANILA, Philippines (June 14, 2018) – There will be no peace talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) on June 28 – this was the announcement made by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza in his press briefing in Malacañang this afternoon.

According to the secretary, the directive came from the President himself during their cabinet meeting last night. He also stressed that the schedule of the talks will only be re-adjusted and will not be cancelled altogether.

“In our common effort to make sure that we achieve a conducive and enabling environment for peace, President Rodrigo Duterte instructed us last night to engage our bigger peace table – the general public as well as other sectors in government as we work to negotiate peace with the communist rebels,” Dureza said.

The scheduled date, June 28, 2018, was the result of the talks between the backchannel teams from both sides.

Dureza explains that the President wants them to conduct public consultations and encourage a more active engagement with the different stakeholders before any effort to resume talks.

“[For] our peace efforts to succeed, [it] should have good support from the general public. Hence, it is necessary that all efforts be exerted to inform and engage them, in the same way as the government engages the rebels in addressing the root causes of conflict,” Dureza said.

Lastly, he added that government is only trying to ensure that they will not “squander” what they believe is the “last opportunity” to restore peace in the nation.

The Philippine government has been trying to end its conflict with the CPP-NPA-NDF which dates back to the 1970s.