Peace adviser defends Duterte: He waited patiently for Left’s ceasefire

  • Presidential peace adviser Jess Dureza defended President Rodrigo Duterte who ‘waited patiently’ for the Left’s ceasefire
  • He detailed the events that transpired when the deadline of the CPP lapsed on Saturday evening
  • Dureza said that Duterte is still open for peace talks with the revolutionary movement

Presidential adviser for the peace process Jess Dureza defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s cancellation of the unilateral ceasefire; saying that the president “waited patiently” for the Left to declare their own armistice.

In his statement released Sunday, July 31, Dureza narrated the events that led to the order to lift the ceasefire.

Dureza said that after the deadline of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Saturday, June 30 at 5:00 PM to announce a ceasefire, the President waited until 7:00 until it issued the order.

This is amidst “disturbing messages” monitored from the New People’s Army.

“Its Southern Mindanao Regional Command claimed the government’s unilateral ceasefire was ‘non-existent’ as it also blamed the AFP as ‘sabotaging’ the ceasefire. Its leadership also belittled the efforts of the President, saying that he could not dictate on the revolutionaries,” he said in his statement.

“By 7pm, knowing that an unanswered ceasefire declaration was not for the best interest of the nation, the President then authorized the release of a statement declaring the lifting of the ceasefire,” he explained.

CPP founder Joma Sison announced an hour later that they were ready to declare a ceasefire by 8:00 PM.

For the peace adviser, it was “very clear that the President walked the extra mile for peace.”

Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes, however, criticized Dureza for not coordinating with their party regarding the ceasefire that they were intending to announce.

Duterte is still open for peace talks with the revolutionary movement, according to Dureza. CPP, meanwhile, said they will announce the ceasefire if the government also declares one after the peace talks on August 20.