MANILA –President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the suspension of peace talks between the government and communist rebels and will direct government negotiators to come home, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
“This is deeply disappointing as final and lasting peace has been one of his deepest aspirations for the nation,” Abella said in a statement.
In a separate statement, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said if there is anyone who passionately dreams of bringing about sustainable peace in the country it is President Duterte and his judgment calls are directed towards this goal.
“At the moment, he has clearly spoken on the directions we all in government should take. Let’s take guidance from these recent declarations,” Dureza said.
“As I always say, the road to just and lasting peace is not easy to traverse. There are humps and bumps, and curves and detours along the way. What is important is that we all stay the course,” he added.
In an interview in Davao City on Saturday, President Duterte said he is not ready to resume peace talks with the communist groups.
“As I have said, I would like to tell the Filipino people: peace with the communists might not come in this generation,” he said.
The President said he has done everything and has walked the extra mile in extending an olive branch with the rebels but their “unreasonable” demand of releasing more than 400 political prisoners prompted him to discontinue the talks.
He was likewise angered by the deaths of several soldiers despite ongoing peace negotiations with the leftist groups.