Duterte not abandoning peace talks — Abella

The government's peace negotiators led by Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process Jesus Dureza (left) with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III beside him. (OPAPP photo)

THE Duterte administration has not abandoned the peace talks with the communist rebels, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Thursday in a press briefing in Malacañang.

Bello said the government has not sent any formal notice to terminate the peace talks.

“When the President mentioned about not talking to them, probably, our President was referring to the two cancelled talks that we were supposed to hold or would have held some time in June, and then in July,” Bello said.

“But that did not mean that the talks were cancelled or terminated. And we have been consistently saying that in order to terminate the talks, either of the parties have to serve the party with a written notice of termination. And the termination takes effect 30 days after receipt of that notice of termination,” he said.

Bello said President Duterte has not abandoned his legacy of bringing lasting peace to the country.

“The talks are alive and we are just waiting for the President to give us the instruction to go back to the peace table,” Bello said.