Palace: Revival of peace talks with Reds subject to preconditions

The possibility of reviving the government’s peace negotiations with communist rebels would have to be premised on certain preconditions, Malacañang stressed on Wednesday, April 4.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra in a Palace press briefing confirmed that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is open to resuming peace talks with the Reds, on the condition that they stop their violent attacks and extortion activities in the country.

“Of course, ‘yung sinabi ng Presidente na open siya na makipag-usap muli sa mga rebelde ay subject to certain preconditions, like stop ang lahat ng pag-atake nila sa mga government and even private facilities… and certain other conditions like itigil nila ang pangongolekta ng mga revolutionary taxes from residents of particular areas,” Guevarra noted.

The Palace official pointed out that the President’s openness to revive peace negotiations shows that his dedication to uphold inclusive and lasting peace throughout the country remains strong.

“Ang Presidente naman natin always keeps an open mind regarding this matter. Ang alam ko naman ay ang pangkalahatang kapayapaan, pangmatagalang kapayapaan, ay nasa kanyang isip lagi. At kung makakatulong ang pagre-reopen ng peace talks, why not,” Guevarra said.

He further clarified that the possible resumption of the peace talks would not affect a pending petition by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and other individuals as terrorists.

“Unang una ay wala pa naman ‘yung mga pag-uusap na ‘yun at hindi pa naman ‘yun nangyayari,” he said referring to the peace negotiations.

Meanwhile, Guevarra said Malacañang expects the Philippine National Police (PNP) to comply with a recent Supreme Court order to submit its reports on the administration’s anti-illegal drug operations.

“If that’s the final order of the Supreme Court, all agencies of the government bound by that order are supposed to comply and follow,” he said.

“Since the Supreme Court itself has apparently made a final order for the production of these particular documents by the law enforcement agencies of the government, I guess we have no other alternative except to comply,” he added.

Guevarra noted, however, that the submission of PNP’s documents would have to be subject to certain security checks and requirements.

He also assured that the High Court’s decision would have no adverse effect on the administration’s ongoing war against illegal drugs.

“Wala naman kaming nakikitang potential effect dahil wala namang itinatago ang mga law enforcement agencies dito sa mga dokumentong ito,” Guevarra said.

In Photo:  Deputy Executive Secretary menardo Guevarra Source: PTVNews