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Duterte says Reds are his ‘friends’

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By Prince Golez

A week after renewing his offer of peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), President Rodrigo Duterte said he considers the local rebels as his “friends.”

In a speech delivered in Malacañang on Tuesday, Duterte said his views of life have always been left.

“Kriminal nagbayad sila ng buhay nila. The NPAs (New People’s Army) magkaibigan man kami niyan that’s why they want to talk again. You know magkaibigan kami,” he added

Malacañang had assured CPP founding chair Jose Maria Sison would not be arrested if he resumes the peace negotiations with the government.

“What the President wants is open the peace talks but Mr. Sison appears to be not open to it because according to him, if it is done in Manila, they are open to arrest and surveillance,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

“And my take on that is that if you’re really sincere, it doesn’t matter where the venue is when you hold the talks. Certainly, there will be no arrest,” he added.

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