House panel approves reso urging Duterte to continue peace talks

MANILA, Philippines – The House committee on peace, reconciliation, and unity approved a resolution calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to continue peace talks with communists.

Voting 8-0-0, the panel gave its nod to House Resolution Number 769, which has been signed by 130 congressmen.

The lawmakers believe the President should continue the peace negotiations because the "Duterte administration [has] reached remarkable and unparalleled headway" compared to past administrations.

"Terminating the same would only put to waste the unprecedented, positive, and substantial gains the peace talks have reached," said the lawmakers. 

"It is highly imperative that this Congress hear the Filipino people's desire to support the resumption of the peace negotiations. It is just and lasting peace itself that is the very compelling reason to continue the peace negotiations," they added.

Duterte scrapped the peace talks after the New People's Army withdrew from a 5-month-old ceasefire.

The government also issued a notice to cancel an agreement giving some rebels immunity from arrest – the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees. (READ: Rebels reject 'improper' notice to cancel talks, JASIG

The President met with leftist Cabinet members on Monday night, February 20, to discuss the breakdown of talks with communist rebels.

Chief presidential peace adviser Secretary Jesus Dureza said Duterte "vowed to work for a strategic shift during his incumbency." – with reports from Carmela Fonbuena / Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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