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Digong confirms Maute’s ISIS links

President Duterte has confirmed Monday the connection of the Maute group with the international jihadist group known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) hope to conclude their peace talks as quickly as possible and implement it “while he (President Duterte) is still the president of the country,” Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said last Friday at a forum with European ambassadors.

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WITH the Duterte administration now engaged in talks with the three major armed groups in Mindanao, peace prospects in the region are brighter than ever.

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Lines were drawn right at the start of the second round of the peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front and the Philippine Government Thursday night, with the communist group asking for the immediate release of 409 political prisoners and the latter seeking a joint and lasting ceasefire agreement.

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Negotiating panels of the Philippine government and the communist-led National Democratic Front are expected to exchange drafts on the proposed bilateral ceasefire and craft an amnesty proclamation as peace talks are set to resume in Oslo, Norway on Thursday.

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THE ordeal of Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, who was kidnapped with two Canadians and a Filipina from a Samal island resort in Davao Gulf in September, 2015, ended Saturday night. He and three Indonesians were released by the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu, to Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who turned them over to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza.

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