Philippine gov't says peace offer to leftist rebels could be final
MANILA, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government urged the left rebels anew on Monday to get on board the peace process, saying the offer to end the insurgency could be final.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the 60-day timeframe set by President Rodrigo Duterte to revive the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), was just enough to achieve the parties' shared agenda of addressing the root cause of the decades-long rebellion.
"The problem is we've been talking peace with them for years and years and years. There is no end. So I think the president said that this is our last chance," Roque told reporters at the Malacanang presidential palace.
"I don't think there's a divergence of views on the root causes of rebellion; it is poverty. So if the government and the CPP-NPA will agree to address the root causes, then it should not even take 60 days," Roque said.
He said both sides have a common goal, and that is to have a better life for Filipinos.
He said the 60-day period would start as soon as both sides clearly agree upon the specific conditions for the revival of the peace talks.
"No target ... as far as I know, both have to agree to resume peace talks and the 60-day period should be reckoned from that day," Roque said.