Gov't, rebels to resume peace talks Sunday even without a ceasefire

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(File photo) Third round of peace talks

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The peace talks between the government and the communists will resume tomorrow, but this time, firearms are not set aside.

For four days starting April 2, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and government negotiators will meet in The Netherlands for the fourth round of peace talks.

The NDFP is the political arm of leftist group Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

According to Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Undersecretary Nabil Tan, President Rodrigo Duterte wants to reiterate the terms for a bilateral ceasefire agreement.

These include setting clear parameters of the ceasefire, nullifying territorial claims of the rebel group, halting the collection of revolutionary tax and extortion, and releasing prisoners.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana called the CPP's armed wing New People's Army "terrorists" for "burning equipments and properties of companies who refuse to succumb to their extortions."

Lorenzana added the leftist group are "anti-development, anti-progress and anti-poor," saying the communists should "show their commitment (on the peace process) both in words and in deeds."

But in a statement, the CPP said it is "duty-bound to punish the perpetrators" of those who attack civilians.

It also said the ceasefire did not push through since it should be mutual with the government.

CNN Philippines' Rex Remitio contributed to this report.