Dureza welcomes Congress call to resume talks with Reds

By Azer Parrocha

March 26, 2018, 7:23 pm

MANILA -- Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza has welcomed the call of the House of Representatives (HOR) for President Rodrigo R. Duterte to resume peace talks with communist rebels represented by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

The NDFP is the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Dureza made this remark after 61 congressmen signed House Resolution No.1803, calling for the conclusion of the comprehensive agreements on socioeconomic and political reforms to obtain peace.

“We thank the House and welcome Resolution 1803 and their interest in the continuation of the peace process,” Dureza said in a press statement Sunday.

Dureza, however, said that an “enabling environment” will be the sole determining factor to resume the peace talks but noted that Congress’ resolution could contribute as well.

“While such a Resolution is not necessary as the presence of an enabling environment will be the sole determining factor, the collective voice from Congress can very well contribute to that desired enabling environment that can be basis for the desired resumption of the peace talks,” Dureza said.

Duterte started formal peace talks with the NDFP shortly after he became president in 2016.

However, he canceled the peace talks in November last year due to continued attacks of the New People’s Army, CPP’s armed wing, on government forces despite ongoing peace talks that time.

In December last year, Duterte issued a proclamation classifying the CPP-New People’s Army as a terrorist organization. (PNA)