OFFICE of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Processes (Opapp) Secretary Jesus Dureza said that the government is still open for peace negotiations with the communist group despite the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte about the cancellation of peace talks.
During the culmination of the National Peace Consciousness Month at Rizal Park Friday, September 28, Dureza said that there was no reciprocity between them as the communist group continued its unlawful attacks.
“He (President Rodrigo Duterte) already released from jail 21 high-level leaders para lang naay negotiation. Nag-ceasefire na siya, daghan pa siyag gihimo. Pero niana ang president na ngano man muatake paman sila? It seems like walay reciprocity (The President already said that he already released 21 high-ranking leaders just to have negotiation. He ordered ceasefire but he asked why they are still doing these attacks. It seems like there is no reciprocity),” Dureza said.
He also said that they are still hoping that some would want to rest from fighting, thus, there was an “effort for localized peace engagements” handled by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“The door is open already for people to start coming in,” Dureza said, adding that it will still be the president’s mandate on how to move forward about peace negotiations but he will always be open for those who would want to surrender.
Meanwhile, Dureza said that they are focusing on the development, aside from peace, because the president mandated them to do so.
“He told us not to work for peace alone but also on development. We cannot achieve peace without development, and we cannot sustain development without peace,” he said. (LHC)