Duterte to jumpstart peace talks with CPP-NPA soon

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(File photos). (L) Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP); (R) incoming President Rodrigo Duterte

Davao City (CNN Philippines) — Even before he formally assumes the presidency, incoming president Rodrigo Duterte wants to jumpstart peace talks with the communist movement soonest.

He has ordered Jesus Dureza and Silvestre Bello to fly to Norway and talk to Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), who has been on self-exile in The Netherlands for decades now.

“I have commissioned them to go to Oslo, to the Scandanavian countries to hold the preliminary talks there. For the broader framework to talk about, and to accompany maybe, Jose Maria Sison in coming home” Duterte said.

There is no schedule yet on when that Oslo meeting will happen. Norway has been the host of the peace talks between the Philippine government and the CPP.

Dureza is the incoming presidential peace adviser, while Bello will lead the government peace panel. Bello will also hold the concurrent position as labor secretary.

Sison will be granted safe conduct pass once he returns to Manila.

“If it’s convenient for him to come tomorrow, fine. Let me know, because I have to prepare the authority for him to come in, his billeting,” said Duterte.

Aside from Sison, Duterte also wants safe conduct passes for ranking New People’s Army leaders, Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, so they can also participate in the negotiations.

The Tiamzon couple is currently detained inside Camp Crame, facing kidnapping charges.

Duterte described his strategies in dealing with rebel groups as inclusive, thus the need for their leaders to join government.

“It cannot be a coalition government. I’d be frank with you. I would be placing the entire government in jeopardy, because of the strong resistance from the military and the police, and it’s natural,” Duterte said.

He is also open to proposals of integrating former rebels into the armed forces or the police.

Duterte noncommittal on Aquino’s peace talks with MILF

Aside from the CPP-NPA, there are also pending peace deals with the Moro rebel groups.

The incoming government appears noncommittal on the 2014 peace agreement the Aquino administration signed with the MILF.

 “We will work out our own roadmap, and we'll still conduct consultations eh,” incoming presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza said.

Duterte's ultimate solution to the Mindanao conflict is a shift to federalism.

He admits, these efforts are contentious and will take time.