Duterte to 'think a thousand times' about reviving peace talks
MANILA, Philippines – Around a week after meeting with Leftist Cabinet members, President Rodrigo Duterte again said he is not ruling out the possibility of renewing peace talks with communists.
"I will think about it. I will think a thousand times then consult the Cabinet including the Left-leaning members of the Cabinet," he said on Tuesday, February 28, during a Palace press conference.
Duterte downplayed concerns that the scrapping of the peace talks affected his working relationship with Left-leaning Cabinet members such as Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, and National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Liza Maza.
"We are a Cabinet, we are a working government, and we can work well together. We're alright," he said.
The President is open to discussing peace talks "sometime." When that happens, however, he is determined to ensure the protection of government interest.
"It's best that we discuss it sometime, not now, about how to – about this problem how to navigate again the stormy waters. But government interest must prevail," he said.
The NDF is the negotiating arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The CPP has said it wants to continue talks with the government. Left-leaning Cabinet members urged Duterte to revive the talks, citing the progress already made and the "sincerity" of both parties to come to an agreement. – Rappler.com