Peace group eyes Duterte to resume peace talks once elected president

May. 02, 2016
EJP Story

Exodus for Justice and Peace eyes Duterte to resume peace talks once elected president. (Earl O. Condeza/

DAVAO CITY – Of the five Presidential candidates, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is considered the one who could possibly resume the stalled peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front.

In a press conference today, May 2, Exodus for Justice and Peace Convenor Rev. Jurie Jaime said, “even before his candidacy as president, Duterte has been doing the right thing in addressing issues concerning the armed conflict.”

“Among the five, he is the most open and sincere. Open to the NPA (New People’s Army), the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), and the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters),” Jaime said.

In order to address the root cause of armed conflict, EJP said that the government must address the economic issues.

With that, Jaime said, “this is what the Filipino people wanted.”

“Now that Duterte expressed his sincerity on the resumption of peace talks, he has been demonized by the government which is not sincere on having peace talks with the rebel group,” Jaime said

On April 26, Duterte facilitated the release of five prisoners of war in Paquibato district, Davao City, where he said that it was the 36th time he facilitated release of POWs of NPA.

A day after, reports said that Malacañang reacted on a photo published in a national newspaper showing Duterte with POWs and members of the NPA and said, quoting communications secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr.,
“This picture should lead us to think seriously and be concerned if this is the future for the Philippines which presidential candidate Duterte is offering to our people,” Coloma was quoted in reports.

Duterte also received a soldier captured by the NPA in North Cotabato. The soldier was released on April 27.

Meanwhile, the EJP said in a statement, that they were dismayed by the President Benigno Aquino III’s administration and presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II who showed “insincerity to peace by maligning our efforts for the safe release of the captured police.”

“They have even used this as an electoral campaign attack against Mayor Duterte, who has always helped in facilitation for the release of police and military personnel captured by the New People’s Army,” the statement said.

EJP, a group working for just peace, they are taking the opportunity to challenge the presidential candidates to “walk the path of peace, to come out with the agenda of peace that unites the people from all political colors and from all walks in life.” (

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