VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Panelo falsely claims Duterte has always been open to peace talks with Reds

Read this fact check in Filipino

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo wrongly claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte has always kept a “window” open to peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its founding chair Jose Maria Sison.

STATEMENT

In a Jan. 2 radio interview, Panelo was asked about the status of the peace talks between the Duterte government and the CPP, its armed wing, the New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

He said:

Unang-una palaging sinasabi niya (Duterte) na, ‘Meron akong puwang diyan, may bintana ako palagi diyan. Sapagkat para sa akin ayaw ko nang magkaroon ng patayan ng mga kapwa Pilipino’ (Not really. First and foremost, [the president has] always said that he is open to it, that the window is always open. Because [he] does not want Filipinos killing each other anymore.)...’”

Source: Presidential Communications Operations Office, Interview with Secretary Salvador Panelo by Ted Failon/Failon Ngayon/DZMM, Jan. 2, 2020

FACT

Contrary to Panelo's claim, Duterte, based on his public pronouncements, was not always “open” to talking peace with the CPP-NPA-NDF. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte blows hot and cold with the Reds)

The president had been inconsistent with his dealings with the communist rebels even before and after he officially terminated the peace negotiations in November 2017 and declared the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization a month later. (See VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Why ‘red-tagging’ is dangerous)

In 2019 alone, Duterte had changed his mind on the issue several times. Watch this video.

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Panelo falsely claims Duterte has always been open to peace talks with Reds from VERA Files on Vimeo.


Sources

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Interview with Secretary Salvador Panelo by Ted Failon/Failon Ngayon/DZMM, Jan. 2, 2020

Official Gazette, Proclamation No. 360, Nov. 23, 2017

Official Gazette, Proclamation 374, Dec. 5, 2017

Radio Television Malacañang official YouTube channel, Situation Briefing on the Effects of Tropical Depression Usman, Jan. 4, 2019

Joma Sison welcomed Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s call to resume peace talks

Radio Television Malacañang official YouTube channel,, Visit to the Victims of the Jolo Cathedral Bombing (Speech) 1/28/2019, Jan. 29, 2019

Radio Television Malacañang official YouTube channel,, Peace and Order Summit for Barangay Officials (Speech) 02/08/2019, Feb. 10, 2019

Jose Maria Sison official website, Joma slams Duterte's 'insulting' offer to revive peace talks, Feb. 8, 2019

Radio Television Malacañang official YouTube channel, 9th Anniversary of the MinDA and 25th Anniversary of the BIMP-EAGA (Speech) 02/19/2019, Feb. 19, 2019

Jose Maria Sison official website, Response to Duterte Statement, Feb. 20, 2019

GMA News Online, Joma says Duterte 'must be crazy' for asking NPA to drop their guns, March 14, 2019

Business World, Sison again says Duterte's demands to resume peace talks unacceptable, March 14, 2019

Radio Television Malacañang official YouTube channel, 122nd Philippine Army (PA) Founding Anniversary (Speech) 3/21/2019, March 21, 2019

Radio Television Malacañang official YouTube channel, Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Cabadbaran City Campaign Rally (Speech), April 22, 2019

CNN Philippines, 4 cops killed by NPA rebels in Negros Oriental – PNP, July 19, 2019

Philstar.com, Raps filed vs NPA rebels for killing Negros cops, July 23, 2019

Radio Television Malacañang official YouTube channel Mindanao-Wide Turnover and Distribution of CLOA to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (Speech) 8/2/2019, Aug. 2, 2019

Radio Television Malacañang official YouTube channel, Oath-Taking of the Newly Promoted Star Officers of the Philippine National Police (Speech), Aug. 8, 2019

Radio Television Malacañang official YouTube channel, Media Interview - Malacañan Palace 9/10/2019, Sept. 10, 2019

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Inauguration of the Bataan Government Center and Business Hub ‘The Bunker’ (Speech) 9/12/2019, Sept. 12, 2019

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Situation Briefing on the Effects of Typhoon Tisoy in the Bicol Region Legazpi City Convention Center, Legazpi City, Albay December 5, 2019, Dec. 5, 2019



(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

FOR FURTHER READING

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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte blows hot and cold with the Reds

The president has changed his mind again about negotiating peace with communist rebels.

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