Reds eye meeting with Duterte

November 11, 2018
Rodrigo R. Duterte

Communist peace negotiators want to meet President Duterte in the Philippines

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has bared that Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front of the.

Philippines peace negotiators Fidel Agcaoili and Luis Jalandoni had sought a meeting with him in the Philippines.

“Agcaoili and Jalandoni, I will not keep it a secret, I do not want confidential-confidential, pupunta dito sabi nila gusto nila ako kausapin,” said Duterte, who was in Puerto Princesa Saturday night for the Subaraw Biodiversity Festival.

“Ang problema nila kapag hulihin sila. Sabi ko talagang huhulihin kayo,” the president added.

“So nagtawag ako ng cluster meeting kasali ng mga military. [I asked them,] ‘So what do you think?’ Sabi nila, baka, baka pa lang. It’s not a very big margin there. Pero baka pa lang.”

Duterte said he would make an announcement on the matter after he returns from the November 13-15 ASEAN summit in Singapore.

The president terminated peace negotiations with the CPP-NDFP November of last year, just two days before the fifth round of formal talks in Oslo, Norway.

For his part, Agcaoili, chair of the NDFP negotiating panel, said he would be accompanied by Coni Ledesma and Luis Jalandoni next month for a series of meetings.

“Ms. Coni Ledesma and I have a scheduled a trip to the Philippines this month in connection with our work as members of the NDFP component in the Joint Monitoring Committee under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL),” Agcaoili said.

“We will be accompanied by Mr. Luis Jalandoni as Senior Adviser to the NDFP Negotiating Panel,” he added.

As an agreement signed by both the government and NDFP, CARHRIHL and its mechanisms including the JMC still stand even if the talks are stalled.

The agreement seeks to preserve human dignity despite the violent condition of the conflict.
Agcaoili said they would also meet with the new Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines.

The Royal Norwegian Government is the third party facilitator of the peace process and has been instrumental in many peace initiatives in the country.

“In this regard, we welcome the opportunity to meet with the President unless he does not want to or his military is against it,” Agcaoili said.

The offer from the NDF came days after Vicente Ladlad, an NDF peace consultant, and two others were arrested in Metro Manila.

Ladlad was present in preparatory meetings with Duterte in Davao City before the talks resumed in 2016.