Peace talks with Reds still alive, says Bello
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, government chief peace negotiator with the communist rebels, said on Thursday that the peace talks with the National Democratic Front are still alive.
In a press briefing in Malacanang, Bello said as far as he is concerned, only the fifth round of formal talks in June and the supposed back channelling talks were cancelled.
"But that did not mean that the talks were cancelled or terminated," he said.
"And we have been consistently saying that in order to terminate the talks, either of the parties have to serve the party with a written notice of termination. And the termination takes effect 30 days after receipt of that notice of termination," Bello added.
So far, he said the government has not served any formal notice to the NDF, the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army, that it has cancelling the peace negotiation.
Duterte said in July that he was abandoning the talks with the rebels due to the atrocities that they continue to perpetuate.
Bello recalled that when Duterte came into office, "he made a very clear statement that this legacy to our country and our countrymen is a lasting peace for our country."
"So, I don’t think that the President has abandoned that legacy," he added. Celerina Monte/DMS