President Duterte has announced the permanent termination of peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines.
The president made the announcement during the 122nd Philippine Army founding anniversary in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, yesterday (Thursday, March 21).
“I am officially announcing the permanent termination of our talks between the Government Panel and the Communist Party of the Philippines,” he said. “My sense is that you can maybe talk to the next president of this Republic one day.”
The president then pointed to the government’s preference for localised peace engagements. “It is, indeed, very important to engage stakeholders and communities in combatting insurgency and preventing the spread of extremist ideologies, and I believe that empowering Indigenous Peoples and others in this regard is the key to this fight.”
He also said that the communist party’s call for land reform was already being done under his administration.
“You know I have, to date, distributed something like 60,000 hectares to land beneficiaries. I mean the only way to make the issue of communism and you know of commonality of things is that you make them irrelevant,” he said.
“And I tell communists that they do not know how to distribute land. I have been at it actually ever since I became president.”
The president also congratulated the “brave men and women in uniform” for their “unwavering commitment to defend our institutions and our democratic way of life”.
His administration, he said, would continue to promote the welfare of the soldiers and their families through decent housing programmes. “I assure you that we will continue to pursue these programmes as an expression of the Filipino people’s appreciation for all that you have done for our country. Indeed, we are all truly indebted to you for risking life and limb for love of country.”
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