The Daily Manila Shimbun


Dureza to tell Duterte, keep truce with Reds

February 1, 2017

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said on Wednesday that he will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte to uphold the government's unilateral declaration of ceasefire despite the communist rebels' decision to terminate its own truce.

In a statement, the top peace official, however, admitted that the government is dismayed of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army/National Democratic Front's cancellation of its unilateral ceasefire.

"We are dismayed with the announcement of New People's Army spokesman Ka Oris withdrawing their unilateral ceasefire effective Feb. 10," he said.

But he added, "we respect their decision."

Dureza, however, noted that the  cancellation of the truce  came after some progress were made in the third round of talks in Italy last month.

During the recent talks, the government and the NDF, the political wing of the CPP/NPA, peace panels agreed to further discuss a bilateral truce in The Netherlands sometime end of February.

"On the part of  the office of the presidential peace adviser, we will respectfully recommend to President Rodrigo R. Duterte that the government continues to maintain and uphold the unilateral ceasefire to sustain the peace in the communities where  our people desire to live in peace," Dureza said.

He said maintaining the government's truce will provide an enabling and conducive environment to the on-going peace talks.

Dureza said he will also recommend that government forces continue to be relentless in their campaign to protect the civilians from harm and terrorism.

"We agree that the situation with various incidents on the ground, had become untenable to sustain without the guidelines and protocols that a bilateral ceasefire provides. This gives more impetus and encouragement to our earnest  task of forging a sustainable ceasefire agreement," he said.

Dureza hoped that a peace settlement with the communist rebels could be forged immediately. Celerina Monte/DMS