Palace respects local talks with Reds-Roque

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Saturday said they expect the AFP to submit their recommendation next week, after which President Rodrigo Duterte will make the decision either to ask  for another extension or  end it by the end of the month.-Newsline.ph photo

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Local peace initiatives Local government units (LGUs) could still push their peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) despite the existence of Proclamation No. 360.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque during the Monday press briefing stressed  “We have local autonomy, so the peace talks can proceed on a local level if the local government units should want or desire to proceed.”

“We have to shut the doors for now to any ongoing peace talks. I am not in the position to say that the door will forever be shut,” he said, stressing that negotiations with the communist rebels would not resume unless the group proves its sincerity to the peace process.
Roque for his part gave credit to President Duterte for showing “maximum tolerance” in dealing with the rebel groups, citing how his administration had initially considered the CPP-NPA as stakeholders in government.

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte officially declared the termination of the national government’s talks with the rebel groups by issuing Proclamation No. 360, but Roque said local can still hold talks at their level..

Among the local officials who showed intent to continue locally initiated talks with the rebels is  Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Duterte-Carpio still wants to  to continue the peace talks with the communist group locally.

Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte felt betrayed by the CPP-NPA-NDF, as he had close relations with them in Davao.

Duterte terminated the talks with the rebels after the November 9 incident in Talakag, Bukidnon when a 4-month old baby was killed during an ambush by the NPA rebels.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph