Resumption of peace talks uncertain, says Dureza

Published September 29, 2018, 4:00 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Armando B. Fenequito Jr.

DAVAO CITY — The resumption of the peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) is still uncertain as of this moment, Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Secretary Jesus G. Dureza said.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza (photo courtesy of OPAPP Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza (OPAPP / MANILA BULLETIN)

In an interview during the culmination of the National Peace Consciousness Month at the Rizal Park here on Friday evening, Dureza said they will stand with the pronouncement of President Rodrigo R. Duterte saying there will be no talks with the NDF anymore.

“For the meantime, we take guidance from the statement of the president that we cannot resume peace negotiations,” he said.

He said the return of peace talks would now depend on the situation that will change the mind of the President.

Dureza said he refuses to speculate on any possibility of the resumption of the peace process as this might create false expectations among the people.

“We have to be precise in our work for peace,” he said.

However, he said the door is not yet closed for the talk but it would materialize at the right time and situation.

Dureza said as of the moment, the government is reaching out to the members of the New People’s Army (NPA) asking them to surrender and offering them livelihood and free housing.

Last Thursday, a total of 85 rebels in Compostela Valley Province received P65,000 livelihood benefits from the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) implemented by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

He also asked the local government units to initiate localized peace talks since some of the rebels come from their place and know the issues in their community.

Duterte reiterated his statement during the send-off ceremony of transport vehicles for the Bureau of Jail and Management Penology on September 26, he is not ready for the resumption of talks with the communists.

“I don’t know if it could be revived. But I am not ready at this time to talk about talking to the communists,” Duterte said.