The Philippine government is open to resuming peace negotiations with the leftist rebels provided that there are no preconditions, a senior government official said Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda made the remarks in reaction to the rebel group's earlier statement that a ceasefire of longer duration and nationwide scope could be taken only on the negotiating table, thus, the Aquino administration should immediately end its unilateral suspension of peace talks.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army- National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) declared a unilateral ceasefire in typhoon Haiyan-hit areas from Nov. 8 until Dec. 24 to pave the way for rehabilitation efforts. Following this, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process renewed earlier proposal for an indefinite truce.
"There are many concerns, many obstacles that we need to hurdle. Again, the position taken by government is we're open to discussions, open to peace negotiations without any preconditions, " Lacierda said.
He recalled that when the government and the NDF, the CPP-NPA's political wing, were still pursuing the special track of talks early this year, it was CPP's founding chairman Jose Maria Sison who proposed for indefinite ceasefire.
But for one reason or another, it was the CPP-NDF which took back its proposal, he said.
Because of that, talks has bogged down since April this year.
The Aquino government said that it would look for a new approach in dealing with the leftist rebels as it did not want to go back to formal talks, which it said has been going nowhere for the past 27 years.
The CPP-NPA-NDF has been waging war against the government for over four decades.