Gov’t to verify reports Maoist group’s willingness to continue peace talks

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Friday, February 21, 2014

THE Aquino government remains open to peace discussions with the communist rebels as Communist Party of the Philippines’s founder Joma Sison reportedly expressed willingness to continue peace talks with the current administration, a Palace official said Friday.

Sison reportedly said he was also willing to meet with President Benigno Aquino III in a neutral place.

"Sa kabuuan, nanatili namang bukas ang pamahalaan sa lahat ng mga option na maaaring tahakin dahil ang layunin natin dito ay makamit iyong kapayapaan," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a press briefing.

"Kaya nga hindi naman tayo nagfo-focus sa Bangsamoro lamang. Patuloy na umiiral iyong mga pakikipag-usap, pakikipagtalakayan sa lahat ng mga kasapi ng ating lipunan na mayroon pang nabibinbing usapin katulad nga noong sa CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front)," he added.

Secretary Teresita Deles of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process will coordinate with the Norwegian facilitator regarding the latest statement from the Maoist group, he said.

Coloma also said that the government wants to clarify the intention of the rebels since the proposal, particularly on the meeting between Aquino and Sison, was new and a turn-around from their previous position.

Both sides halted talks due to disagreements on rebel's demands in February last year. Communist rebellion in the Philippines is considered as the longest running insurgency in Asia. (SDR/Sunnex)

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