FILE PHOTO: Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the incoming government peace panel during the formal resumption of peace talks at Oslo, Norway on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. (Photo courtesy: Jesus Dureza’s Facebook account.)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) to be held in the country.
In a press briefing, Malacañang explained that this matter concerns Filipinos, hence it should be resolved on Philippine soil.
The Palace added that instead of spending money for peace negotiations abroad, it should be used in ensuring security and sustaining the needs of the leftist group here.
“There is no need to travel outside the country if we are going to talk about peace. We are Filipinos and these talks are about Filipinos,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
And if the formal talks push through, Roque believes there is no longer need for a third party facilitator.
The Royal Norwegian government has been mediating the peace negotiations of the Philippine government and NDF peace panels since 2001.
However, the administration is still open to the assistance of other countries that wish to help the Philippines attain lasting peace.
“Any party who wants to help and who has been involved in the process can help, but the point of our president is: why do we have to hold our peace talks in other countries,” said Roque.
Meanwhile, Malacañang denied that the stand-down agreement released by the leftist group over the weekend is an official document.
The deal signed by both panels is to prepare for the supposed resumption of peace talks on June 28th but Roque said it has to be verified.
The government also rebutted the statement of CPP founder Jose Maria Sison who alleged that the military is preparing for an all-out war against the New People’s Army, hence the postponement of the negotiations.
“Absolutely without basis po. You all know what are the activities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines currently. We have not heard of offensives directed against the CPP-NPA so I appeal to the CPP-NDF to be careful with their public declarations,” said Roque. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue