Reaction to Dureza’s statement today
Dureza’s claim today that Duterte’s doors for resuming peace talks with the NDFP “are still open” is an outright lie. This is a desperate PR stunt to obscure the fact that the GRP has repeatedly terminated the talks and make it appear that it is the NDFP which closed its doors.
Notice that Dureza’s statement does not make any mention at all of the fact that Duterte issued Presidential Proclamation #360 last November 23, 2017 which formally terminated peace negotiations with the NDFP. This proclamation has never been rescinded. Just a few weeks ago, Duterte also derailed efforts to resume talks by cancelling scheduled resumption.
In his statement today, Dureza lays down Duterte’s condition that in the event that talks do resume, it should be held in a local venue. By making this demand, Duterte is driving another nail to completely shut the doors to NDFP-GRP peace talks. He knows fully well that the demand to hold talks in the Philippines is unacceptable and unworkable for the NDFP, unless he thinks the NDFP will be negotiating only to surrender the Filipino people’s aspirations and give up all its revolutionary principles.
By completely shutting doors to negotiations, Duterte is rushing to lay down conditions for imposing martial law or a general crackdown, use the terror proscription against the CPP and NPA against his critics and dissenters against his tyranny, and push charter change for pseudo-federalism to perpetuate himself in power.