MANILA, April 12, 2018 — President Rodrigo Duterte’s determination to end the decades-old insurgency in the country is the key factor in opening up the talks with the Reds, the presidential adviser on the peace process said.
In an interview with CNN Philippines this morning, Office the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Jesus Dureza said the resumption of talks is in line with the President’s “personal advocacy (and) ambition” as well as his “mission and vision.”
“He (President Duterte) would like to bring sustainable and just peace in the land,” Secretary Dureza said. “He understands very well coming from a place like Davao, where he dealt with them (New People’s Army) directly, and he would like to address the root cause of the problem.”
During the Cabinet meeting last April 4, President Duterte ordered Dureza and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who is the chief government negotiator with the Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army–National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), to work on the resumption of talks with directives to forge a ceasefire agreement.
Dureza also pointed out that the President is taking into consideration the public’s desire to conclude the conflict.
“I’m sure it’s not only him (President Duterte) that is very anxious to have that conclusion, pati ang taong bayan nag-eexpect,” he said.
According to Dureza, the President has given a two-month timeline to reopen the talks, which stalled in November 2017 due to escalated violence on the ground.
“We’ll work on it definitely and the way you listen to the other side, (CPP Founder) Joma Sison says he welcome all this. I think they will be with us to start it early,” he said. ###