Duterte pushes for revival of peace talks with Reds; calls NPAs his friends

Published December 11, 2019, 12:26 PM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Genalyn Kabiling 

President Duterte on Wednesday said he is pushing for the revival of peace talks with the communist rebel group as his “last card” in ending the 50-year insurgency problem, adding that he considers the rebels as his friends.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The President recently directed Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello to return to the Netherlands and talk to communist leader Jose Maria Sison on the possible revival of the peace talks.  Duterte said this would be his “last card” to jumpstart the peace negotiations with the communist rebels since he has less than three years left in office.

The government peace panel chaired by Bello was dismantled last March after the peace talks with the communist rebels were terminated in November, 2017.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo assured that Sison would not be arrested if he agrees to resume the peace talks with the government in the country. He said the government is prepared to seek the suspension of any pending arrest warrants against Sison and other local communist officials who will take part in the peace negotiations.

Speaking at the oath-taking of new fire, jail, and coast guard officials in Malacañang on Wednesday, the President said he is not a communist but has left-leaning views on life.

“The NPAs (New People’s Army) magkaibigan man kami niyan that’s why they want to talk again. You know magkaibigan kami (The NPAs are my friends. That’s why they want to talk again. You know we are friends),” he said.

“My views of life have always been left. Hindi ako komunista pero ‘yung tingin ko sa land reform ganun (I am not a communist but that’s my view on land reform and others),” he added.

Duterte, former mayor of Davao City, said he sympathizes with the people’s suffering because his family also had a hard life when he was young. He recalled that his family moved from Cebu to Mindanao to find greener pasture.

“Umalis kami ng tatay ko sa Cebu, wala naman kaming niyugan, wala naman kaming minahan (We left Cebu. We didn’t have a coconut farm, a mining field) so he ventured to Mindanao, married a Mindanaoan. Tapos he went to Davao. It was a hard life,” Duterte said.

“Siguro about four years old pa ako (I was for years old) 1948 something, I still remember distinctly the long ride from Butuan going to Cagayan via Cotabato.  There were no roads yet na connecting Davao to Butuan to Bukidnon, anywhere. At the time, it was a long and winding road,” he said.

“Kaya alam ko ang buhay at alam ko kung gaano kasakit ang mahirap (So I know how hard it is to be poor),” he added.

 
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Duterte pushes for revival of peace talks with Reds; calls NPAs his friends

Published December 11, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling 

President Duterte on Wednesday said he is pushing for the revival of peace talks with the communist rebel group as his “last card” in ending the 50-year insurgency problem, adding that he considers the rebels as his friends.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The President recently directed Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello to return to the Netherlands and talk to communist leader Jose Maria Sison on the possible revival of the peace talks.  Duterte said this would be his “last card” to jumpstart the peace negotiations with the communist rebels since he has less than three years left in office.

The government peace panel chaired by Bello was dismantled last March after the peace talks with the communist rebels were terminated in November, 2017.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo assured that Sison would not be arrested if he agrees to resume the peace talks with the government in the country. He said the government is prepared to seek the suspension of any pending arrest warrants against Sison and other local communist officials who will take part in the peace negotiations.

Speaking at the oath-taking of new fire, jail, and coast guard officials in Malacañang on Wednesday, the President said he is not a communist but has left-leaning views on life.

“The NPAs (New People’s Army) magkaibigan man kami niyan that’s why they want to talk again. You know magkaibigan kami (The NPAs are my friends. That’s why they want to talk again. You know we are friends),” he said.

“My views of life have always been left. Hindi ako komunista pero ‘yung tingin ko sa land reform ganun (I am not a communist but that’s my view on land reform and others),” he added.

Duterte, former mayor of Davao City, said he sympathizes with the people’s suffering because his family also had a hard life when he was young. He recalled that his family moved from Cebu to Mindanao to find greener pasture.

“Umalis kami ng tatay ko sa Cebu, wala naman kaming niyugan, wala naman kaming minahan (We left Cebu. We didn’t have a coconut farm, a mining field) so he ventured to Mindanao, married a Mindanaoan. Tapos he went to Davao. It was a hard life,” Duterte said.

“Siguro about four years old pa ako (I was for years old) 1948 something, I still remember distinctly the long ride from Butuan going to Cagayan via Cotabato.  There were no roads yet na connecting Davao to Butuan to Bukidnon, anywhere. At the time, it was a long and winding road,” he said.

“Kaya alam ko ang buhay at alam ko kung gaano kasakit ang mahirap (So I know how hard it is to be poor),” he added.

 
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