Duterte offers to pay for peace talks with communist rebels 

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 8) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said that he will pay for communist rebels' trip home-- in order for their peace talks with the government to resume.

Speaking at a peace and order summit in Albay, Duterte- likely alluding to members of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)-asked the communists to "stop extorting money."

He guaranteed an all-expenses paid trip for the group.

"You have to stop extorting money and yung taxation ninyo. I said I will guarantee na ako na mismo ang gagastos sa (peace) talks," Duterte said on Friday evening.

[Translation: You have to stop extorting money, and your taxation… I said I will guarantee that I will pay for the peace talks.]

The President assured that members of the peace panel will not be arrested.

"You can come and be billeted in simple hotels because luxury is not for us. You can come in peace. Di kayo huhulihin (you will not be caught)," the chief executive added.

Duterte, in previous speeches, had repeatedly said he was "open" to resuming peace talks with communist rebels.

In the past, the government and the rebels accused each other of violating ceasefires, prompting Duterte to terminate the peace talks aimed at ending the communist group's five-decade insurgency, one of the longest running in Asia. The government also seeks to tag the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group, but that bid is still pending in court.

Malacañang in January disputed reports that Duterte had ordered backchannel talks with the groups. 

NDFP consultant Randy Malayao on January 30 was shot and killed while on board a passenger bus in Nueva Vizcaya. The NDFP is the umbrella group that represents communist rebels in peace talks with the government.

READ: Reds vow to bring justice to NDFP consultant slay