IT IS about time that the government and the communists put an end to their "internecine" feud, Malacañang said Monday, November 26, despite communist loeader Jose Maria Sison's pronouncement that his party will ignore President Rodrigo Duterte's request for a final draft of the peace deal.
"As we said, this government is open to peace talks. It's about time we end this internecine conflict within Filipinos," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told Palace reporters.
"The President doesn't like blood being shed. For 50 years, we have been doing that. It's about time [to end that] kaya open siya eh (that's why he's open to peace tallks). Kaya kahit ilang beses niyang sinabi na ayaw na niya, nagkakaroon pa rin siya ng change of heart," he added.
(The President doesn't like blood being shed. For 50 years, we have been doing that. It's about time to end that that's why he's open to peace tallks. Even though he had said several times that he doesn't want to pursue the dialogue, he still has the change of heart.)
Panelo said it was the communists's "call" to reject Duterte's proposal.
He added that the government is ready to go to war, if that is what the communist insurgents what.
"It's their call. Kung ayaw nila eh di huwag. Sabi nga ni Presidente, eh gusto niyo ng giyera, eh di giyera (If they do not like to talk to us, fine. As the President said, if they want war, let's go to war)," the Palace official said.
Asked if the government's next action is to engage in an armed struggle with the communists, Panelo clarified, "Hindi. Ang sinasabi ni Presidente, nasa sa inyo 'yan kung gusto ninyo (No. What the President is saying is it's up to them)."
"Let's sit down but we have to observe conditions preparatory to having talks. Huwag na nating ulitin 'yung makikipag-usap kayo sa amin sa lamesa tapos pinapatay ninyo ang mga tao namin. Hindi pupwede 'yun, hindi kami papayag dun. They have to be sincere," Panelo added.
(Let's sit down but we have to observe conditions preparatory to having talks. Let's not repeat what you've done when you're killing our men when we're on negotiating table. We will not allow that. They have to be sincere.)
On Thursday, November 22, Duterte said he wanted to talk to Sison and ask the communist leader to submit to the government a "final draft" of the peace pact.
On Saturday, November 24, Sison said the communists' political arm, the National Democratic Front (NDF), will not heed Duterte's call, noting that the President was "simply joking, stupid or crazy" when he made the proposal.
Sison maintained that both peace panels from the communist group and the government have already made their respective drafts of the comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms, and on political and constitutional reforms.
"Duterte is simply joking, stupid or crazy when he publicly proposed that the NDF submit to him a draft peace agreement for him to approve, subject to the further approval of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philppines) and PNP (Philippine National Police)," the communist founder said. (SunStar Philippines)