MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said he supports efforts of his daughter Sara Carpio, the mayor of Davao City, to seek local peace talks with the New People’s Army even as he renewed calls on the rebels to lay down their arms.
Carpio recently formed a local body tasked to convince the local rebel command to agree to talks in light of the slim chance of resuming formal peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front, which represents the communists.
Duterte, who has styled himself a leftist and socialist, began his term of office by resuming talks with the communists but later scrapped negotiations and ordered the military to go on the offensive after both sides traded charges of violating each other’s unilateral ceasefires.
Since then, Duterte has refused to resume peace talks until the rebels agree to an indefinite bilateral truce, which the communists reject saying it would be tantamount to surrender.
Returning Tuesday from a working visit to Japan, Duterte said, as he has done in the past, that he has no plans of giving up on the prospect of resumed negotiations with the communists.
“We can talk continuously with the Left,” he said. “I am not about ready to give up everything and anything in the — in the, in the altar of peace for our country.”
He also repeated his invitation for them to give up, offering jobs and housing.