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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, February 7, 2017
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Bishop: Peace talks need sincerity

“It's unfortunate that the peace talks have been called off. Certainly a basic requisite for a peace talk to succeed is sincerity from both sides.”

That was the reaction yesterday of Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon to President Rodrigo Duterte's cancellation of the government peace talks with the Communist rebels.

Duterte yesterday called the communist rebels "spoiled brats" for demanding the immediate release of all political prisoners in the country.

He explained that he allowed the release of at least 18 officials of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to be able participate in the ongoing peace talks abroad.

"They also want 400 (political prisoners). That is only given after successful talks, then you grant amnesty," the President said.

Duterte has ordered the arrest of the communist peace negotiators on their return to the country.

"They killed my soldiers and even police. Peace is not possible during our generation. I'm sorry. I am not about to talk to them again," he added.

Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said let us all be guided by the judgment of the President and how he wants the peace talks with the communist rebels to proceed.

As presidential adviser Jesus Dureza said, the road to lasting peace is expected to encounter many humps and bumps, detours and delays, Marañon said.

“What is important is that we continue to set our eyes on achieving genuine peace,” he said.

The governor noted that at the start of the peace talks he already said he expected a lot of issues that may trigger delays.

“But what is important is that we should continue to set our eyes on how to achieve genuine and lasting peace. If not today, maybe in the near future. Locally, the provincial government had been at the forefront in efforts to help the poor through livelihood and technical assistance to uplift their conditions,” he said.*CPG



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