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Dureza says peace talks with communist rebels will push through as scheduled

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Malacanang said the resumption of peace talks with Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) will push through as scheduled next month even if the ceasefire is lifted.

In an interview over state-run Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said the formal peace negotiations between the government and the CPP-NPA-NDF will resume on August 20 to 27 in Oslo, Norway.

“Of course. Who is saying it is not pushing through? We have scheduled it August 20 up to August 27. So we’re pushing through with this as originally scheduled,” Dureza said.

Secretary Dureza also said the lifting of the ceasefire will not affect the peace talks.

“It will not in any way affect the peace talks dahil alam naman natin even when we agreed to resume peace negotiations we have tabled as an agenda item the discussion on the interim ceasefire,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the CPP-NPA-NDF to reciprocate the unilateral ceasefire he declared during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday (July 25).

Duterte’s ultimatum will end 5 p.m. today (Saturday).

On Thursday, the President threatened to lift the ceasefire following an attack on members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Davao del Norte on Wednesday. The attack left one CAFGU member dead.