The Daily Manila Shimbun


Duterte says he has to “calibrate” moves in peace process

February 2, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday he is not a dictator and he has to "calibrate" his moves in conducting the peace process with the communist rebels.

In a speech in an event in Davao City, Duterte said he is not keen on following the decision of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front terminating a unilateral ceasefire.

"I will decide in the fullness of God's time," he said, referring to the government's own truce.

The New People’s Army said it will be ending its ceasefire on Feb. 10, citing the failure of the government to give amnesty and release of the political prisoners.

Duterte said if he would release all 400 political detainees, it is as if he gave amnesty, which is "given during a successful negotiation."

If he would release all the detainees, he said the military might kill him.

He reiterated that before the release of some detainees, he wants to see first a signed document declaring a bilateral ceasefire of the government and Maoist group.

While he heads the executive department, he said he still consults the military.

"I am not a dictator. I have Congress to consider which is a co-equal body. They initiate laws," Duterte said.

He added he has "to calibrate my moves vis-a-vis with Congress, with military, with police."

He has to show respect to other government agencies.

The unilateral truce of the CPP-NPA-NDF would end by 11:59pm on February 10. Celerina Monte/DMS