DAVAO CITY, April 10, 2018 — Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza yesterday underscored the importance of optimism in working on the peace process after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the resumption of talks with the communist rebels.
“I have always been optimistic; you have no other recourse but be optimistic if you’re working for peace,” the Secretary said in an interview aired by ANC on Monday night.
The talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) broke down in 2017 after four rounds of successful negotiations.
On April 4, Dureza announced that the President had directed him and the government panel to “work on the resumption of peace talks with CPP-NPA-NDF” with instructions to forge a ceasefire agreement.
Dureza attributed this to Duterte’s desire to bring about peace in the country as well as to the positive statements from top Communist leaders expressing willingness to continue negotiations.
“If somebody offers the hand of peace, of course, every right thinking Filipino will also accept it,” he said.
Dureza also explained his “peace by piece” approach in the peace process. “It is a brick-by-brick laying of the foundation for peace,” he said.
“Our work is to find a way to go around these roadblocks, look for alternative ways. Because eventually, we cannot do without having sustainable peace,” Dureza said. ###