PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is not closing his doors on the possibility that the peace talks would resume, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Tuesday.
This was Lorenzana's remark even after the President said he would entirely scrap the peace negotiation between the government and the communist rebels.
Lorenzana, in a press briefing, said the Duterte administration is still open to talking to the communists, citing the President's statement that he might retract his order if there is a "compelling reason."
"The President is not closing his doors. He said, 'If there is compelling reason to go back to the peace process, then, we will go back.' So the door is not closed," Lorenzana said.
"The government is open. That's what I see in the pronouncement of the President," he added.
But now that Duterte decided to cancel the peace talks, Lorenzana said that they would support the President and follow his orders.
While the government is yet to issue a formal order to arrest political prisoners, Lorenzana said the military would wage an all-out war against the New People’s Army since it serves as a "big threat" to the country.
"The NPA serves as a big threat to the security of the Philippines because of what they are doing to the barangays – trying to consolidate barangays, threatening them," he said. "So they are threat because they can, you know, they are there, they can always launch attacks to our troops."
Lorenzana, however, said he is not losing hope that the peace dialogue would proceed and stressed that the military has no intentions to thwart the peace negotiation.
"We want peace. I do not want to sabotage. We support the peace process that was initiated by the President. We support that. We are not sabotaging it," he said. (SunStar Philippines)