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Philippines, Duterte: ‘Still no peace talks’

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After the calls from 61 lawmakers – through House Resolution 1803 –  for the resumption of talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF), the communist rebels’ political arm, government peace panel chairman and labor chief Silvestre Bello said that a resumption of peace negotiations with communist rebels will have to wait as there is no “enabling environment” yet to convince President Duterte to reconsider his suspension of the talks.  Bello said the Chief Executive needs more convincing proof of the NDF and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)’s sincerity in talking peace with the government. the lawmakers said forging peace with the communists would ultimately benefit the poor, especially those in the countryside, but a major factor that would likely convince Duterte to reopen the peace negotiations is the cessation of attacks by the NPA on military and civilian targets, Bello maintained.  “We support this call from legislators urging Duterte to resume and continue peace talks with the NDF and complete the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER),”  Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) chairman Danilo Ramos said. “The resumption of peace talks and finalization of the Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ARRD) and the National Industrialization and Economic Development (NIED) will be for the best interest of Filipino farmers and the people,” Ramos said

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