MAOIST rebels have agreed to continue peace talks with the Philippine government next month, a month after President Rodrigo Duterte cancelled initial talks following a deadly rebel ambush on policemen.
Duterte’s peace advisor Jesus Dureza said in a Facebook post that the two parties will be resuming talks on April 1 to work out a bilateral ceasefire. Dureza made the statement after two days of informal talks in Utrecht, the Netherlands, over the weekend.
Norway has been the middle man in negotiations between the Philippine government and the Maoist rebels, according to Townhall.
“I am pleased to announce that the peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front which broke down weeks ago, are now back on track again,” he wrote.
“The parties are expected to start discussions on the bilateral ceasefire during the planned resumption of the negotiations during the first week of April, this year.”
On March 8, communist rebels ambushed and killed four police officers in Davao del Sur. A furious Duterte said the following day that he had ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to rain bombs down on the rebels, reported Cebu Daily News.
“Go ahead, flatten the hills,” he was quoted saying. “Just go ahead [and] wage a war against them, anything goes for now.”
Additional reporting by Reuters