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Go: Peace talks still possible



“Duterte wants more time for consultations.

Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go yesterday provided a glimmer of hope that the canceled peace talks with communist rebels may resume.

“It’s still possible because the President has said he does not want Filipinos killing fellow Filipinos. Who wants war anyway?” asked Secretary Go.

But for peace talks to have any chance, the President’s long-time assistant said the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) must match Duterte’s sincerity.

“You will never talk to a president as sincere and as trusting as the President,” said the Palace official, who cited at least 50 instances when he and Duterte as Davao City mayor went to NPA camps.

No rushing Rody
He said they went to rebel camps unarmed and without any bodyguard to receive “prisoners of war.”

“That’s why I am asking you (CPP-NPA) to also be sincere, give our President the chance, don’t rush him because he has so many things to do,” added Go.

The President has suspended peace negotiations between the government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)—the political wing of the CPP-NPA, last month.

Duterte said he wanted more time for public consultations regarding the agreements entered into by the Philippine government and NDFP peace panels during informal talks.

Prior to the suspension, the President called for the holding of the peace talks in Manila and even invited CPP founding chair Jose Maria Sison to return home with assurance of his safety.

Sison, however, refused the invitation and started attacking the President with his media statements after the latter ordered the suspension of peace talks.

Local talks
Currently, Go said that local peace talks are being spearheaded by the Department of Interior and Local Government.

He stressed he is optimistic that a peace agreement can be reached with the CPP-NPA-NDFP before Mr. Duterte steps down in 2022.

Go added that achieving lasting peace with the CPP-NPA is among the campaign promises of the President.

Meanwhile, Go cited the critical role played by entrepreneurs in boosting the country’s economy during a speech in the Davao City leg of Go Negosyo’s Mentor Me on Wheels (MMOW).

He joined Go Negosyo Founder and Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion in the event held at the atrium of Lanang Premier.

MMOW brings mentorship closer to starting businessmen, especially to underserved entrepreneurs from distant areas. It also provides an avenue for capacity building in realizing President Duterte’s goal of building an inclusive economy.