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AFP backs Duterte’s decision to postpone peace talks anew

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has expressed strong support to the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to postpone the resumption of peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)  to allow the public to engage more in the peace process.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines is one with the nation in earnestly yearning for a lasting peace in our land that will be owned by and acceptable to the Filipino people at large,” AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a message to reporters Friday.

“It is for this reason that we support the desire of our Commander-in-Chief to afford more time for consultation with the public about the matters discussed during the back channel talks and ensure that its substance enjoys the support of a broader mass base,” Arevalo added.

He said the AFP subscribes to the shared aspiration towards the attainment of a just and lasting peace through dialogues and deliberations.

While waiting for this, Arevalo said the military should continue to perform its mandate to protect the people, ensure peace and uphold the territorial integrity of the country.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza announced the postponement of the talks on Thursday. “The decision for the moment is not to resume talks yet,” he said in a Palace press briefing.

Dureza said President Duterte, during the joint military and police command conference Wednesday night, instructed to engage the general public as well as other stakeholders “in our common effort to make sure that we achieve a conducive and enabling environment for peace.”

Recently, Duterte said talks with the Reds might resume in July, while National Democratic Front political consultant Jose Maria Sison claimed that the resumption might happen between June 28 to 30 in Oslo, Norway.#