President Rodrigo Duterte has changed his mind again about negotiating peace with communist rebels.
In a speech during the oathtaking of Region 4A barangay officials in Sta. Rosa, Laguna on June 11, the president said he is “not ready” yet to resume peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF), which has waged Asia’s longest-running communist insurgency.
Duterte’s pronouncement came after peace process adviser Jesus Dureza announced the Philippine government (GRP) was cancelling the talks originally scheduled on June 28.
The Duterte administration first canceled the negotiations with the NDF last year, citing a Communist Party of the Philippines directive to its armed forces to intensify attacks against government troops following the declaration of martial law in Mindanao on May 23.
The NDF and the GRP under Duterte resumed talks in August 2016, ending five years of impasse.
Talking to the communist rebels is part of Duterte’s six-point peace and development agenda. In his first State of the Nation Address, Duterte announced a unilateral ceasefire with the New People’s Army to “restore peace” and “provide enabling environment conducive to the resumption of the peace talks.”
What happened since that pronouncement? Watch this video.