|Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte|
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed readiness to resume peace negotiations with the communist rebels following the release of a policeman who was kidnapped by the guerillas three months ago.
Duterte said there is a need to have serious talks with the rebels, who have been waging an armed struggle against the government for 50 years.
“If you (communists) want to resume the talks, I am not averse to the idea, but let me sort out first the other branches of government,” the president said during his meeting with SPO2 George Rupinta, the policeman freed by the rebels, in Davao City last Saturday.
Rupinta was seized by the New People’s Army, the armed wing in the communist rebels, in Davao Oriental last June to probe his supposed involvement in “anti-people activities.” He was released in Compostela Valley last Friday.
Duterte said he could not immediately grant some demands of the rebels because they require the approval of other branches of government.
“I share power with Congress and the Supreme Court. So do not ask for something in a hurry and for those which are not really acceptable to the other branches of government. Mahirap ‘yan (It will be difficult),” Duterte said.
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