MALACAÑANG maintained Friday that there must be a “compelling reason” for President Rodrigo Duterte to revive the peace talks.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) should be able to show their sincerity to the peace process.
“The President wants nothing more than to fulfill his goal of bringing peace to all Filipinos, regardless of ideology and ethnicity, but there must be a compelling reason for him to return to the table to talk. The interest of the Filipino people must come first,” Abella said.
"The CPP-NPA-NDF needs to exhibit confidence-building measures to show their sincerity to the peace process," he added.
Abella's statement came after the Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF) called on Duterte to consider lifting his decision to entirely scrap the peace talks with the communist rebels.
In a statement, the group of church leaders said the peace negotiations have become “both productive and positive” since Duterte assumed office.
“After the rocky road of the past weeks, we appeal to President Duterte to see that addressing the roots of the armed conflict through the peace talks is still viable way to proceed,” EBF said.
Abella assured that the President would fulfill his promise to bring inclusive development and a just and lasting peace for all the Filipino people.
“There is no assurance except that the Duterte administration will continue efforts to unite our people and work with all sectors in bringing about inclusive development and a just and lasting peace for all,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)