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Duterte gives ‘small window’ to peace pact with communists

President Duterte said he was still giving a “small window” for govern­ment and the communist rebels to forge a peace agreement.

The President insisted that the rebels must agree to the cessation of hostilities and stop the demand for a coalition government, among others, for the resumption of the peace talks.

“No coalition government, cessation of hostilities, tapos they must surren­der and place themselves in camps, I do not disarm them,” Duterte said the inauguration of the Malayan Col­leges of Mindanao in Davao City last Saturday.

“For the small window that I gave to myself and Sison, we have to have some common agreement – 60 days and after that, if nothing happens, then I tell you: Prepare for war be­cause this rebellion of the Communist Party will go on,” he added.

The President had earlier said he was not interested in talking peace with the rebel group after he was of­fended by Sison’s claim that he would be ousted in three years.

Duterte said he was prepared to accept his destiny if overthrown from power but prefers to go to war with the rebels first.

“Sabi nila instead of fighting, they’ll just use their energies to oust Duterte. Ah, okay lang kung ‘yun ang ginusto ng tao. I am ready to be ousted pero fight muna tayo,” he said during a sci­ence and technology forum last Friday in Davao City.

At the Davao City event last Sat­urday, the President still seemed irri­tated at Sison’s ouster moves against him, telling him to talk peace with his successor instead.

“Sabi niya, ‘Ah Duterte will not last three years.’ Kaya sabi ko, ‘Ayaw ko na lang makipag-usap sa iyo kasi hang­gang three years lang man pala ako. ‘Di after three years, wala na ako di­yan. So ‘yang kausap mo, hintayin mo three years,’” he said.

-Genalyn D. Kabiling