MALACAÑANG on Saturday was optimistic that President Rodrigo Duterte is amenable to communists’ call to revive the peace talks.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, in an interview with state-run dzRB, said the President was paying attention to the plea of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to continue the peace negotiations.
"I'm sure the President is a listening to the President and he will continue to consider the advice of his [Cabinet] Secretaries, advisers, and peace advisers. Let’s see in the coming days what would be the developments," Abella said.
Jose Maria Sison, CPP founding chair, recently urged Duterte to address the dissonance between the communist rebels and the government and eventually be able to resume the peace dialogue.
The communist rebels had announced that the unilateral ceasefire it declared in August ends on Friday, citing that the government failed to release hundreds of political prisoners and violated its own ceasefire.
Duterte had then decided to terminate the government’s truce and the talks with the communists, whom he referred to as “terrorists.”
The Chief Executive had also instructed to revoke the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees between the government and the communist group, in a bid to formally end the peace talks and be able to arrest the released rebel leaders.
The military had also declared an all-out war on the CPP's armed wing, the New People's Army.
Sison, however, remained hopeful that the talks would resume even if the lifting of ceasefire have been observed by both parties.
"I propose [that Duterte] consult thoroughly with his negotiating panel and the peace advocates in his own Cabinet and others outside of his government, and encourage and allow back-channeling efforts to clarify misunderstandings and solve immediately the current problems," Sison said.
"[The CPP] wish to pursue with the government the bright prospects that started with the first round of formal talks in August 2016 and overcome the peace spoilers that run counter to the progress that has been achieved in the third round of formal talks," he added. (SunStar Philippines)