- President Rodrigo Duterte says he is still on interested in peace talks with the left movement
- This was after he cancelled the ceasefire last Saturday
- The president says that the best way is for both parties to talk again to figure out if peace between the government and the left is attainable
After lifting the ceasefire, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday, August 1, that he is still open to continuing the peace talks with the revolutionary left movement.
“We are hoping that we can just talk. Maybe we did not understand each other,” GMA News Online quoted Duterte during his first press conference in Malacañang.
“Best way really is to talk again and maybe find out if it’s reachable or beyond our reach,” he also said.
The president also reacted to Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Joma Sison’s statement that they were about to issue a ceasefire by 8 PM on Saturday, July 30.
“Hindi ko patulan iyan [I won’t believe that]. I am not a psychological poltergeist. I am the President talking properly to you to have peace in this land. Hindi naman ako insecure [I’m not insecure]. I got 16 million votes,” he said.
Last Saturday, Duterte cancelled the unilateral ceasefire he declared during his first State of the Nation Address on July 25. This was after CPP failed to declare their own armistice after the president’s deadline on Saturday, 5:00 PM.
Duterte issued the ultimatum after members of the New People’s Army – the armed wing of the CPP – attacked government paramilitary forces in Davao del Norte on Wednesday last week.
Peace adviser Jess Dureza defended the president; saying that Duterte took the extra mile in the hopes to achieve peace with the left party. He said Duterte waited until two hours after the deadline before he ordered the cancellation.
This is amidst “disturbing reports” received from the ground.
“Its Southern Mindanao Regional Command claimed the government’s unilateral ceasefire was ‘non-existent’ as it also blamed the AFP as ‘sabotaging’ the ceasefire. Its leadership also belittled the efforts of the President, saying that he could not dictate on the revolutionaries,” Kicker Daily quoted Dureza’s statement on Sunday.