Duterte says he's not closing door on peace talks with Reds, ready for truce
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday he is not closing his door on the peace talks with the communist rebels as he is also open for a ceasefire.
In a speech in Oriental Mindoro, Duterte, however, reiterated the conditions he earlier set for the negotiations to proceed.
"And so if we can have a middle ground, I'm not closing everything because forever is not true...so let us agree on some fundamentals," he said.
"I understand that you have to have money to proceed to where you would like to be. I am ready to subsidize the peace process," Duterte said, noting the government could shoulder the accommodation and food of the Maoist group's peace negotiators.
"In the meantime, if you really want sincerity, you stop immediately. You and I, let's have a ceasefire. There should be no single fire, even firecracker, and I would be happy," Duterte said.
But he said the New People's Army (NPA) should stop pursuing a revolutionary government and torching of equipment in the name of taxation.
Duterte terminated the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front last year and declared the CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations for the violence they continue to commit. Celerina Monte/DMS