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Efforts to restart talks with reds hailed

The government welcomed the recent development in reviving the peace discussions with communist rebels, clarifying however that the government proposal is aimed at starting a forum and not forging an alliance with the leftist group.

Recently, government chief negotiator Alex Padilla said that the Aquino administration is open to an alliance with the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) stressing that the alliance is not tantamount to a coalition or a power-sharing scheme.

“Ang ginagawa ng peace panel ay isang mekanismo para yung mga concerns ng kaliwa, para mailabas at mapag-usapan. So it is more of a forum where their concerns and their proposed solutions to issues can be discussed and vetted and aired,” Secretary Ramon Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) said in a press conference on Wednesday.

“We believe this is a positive step in the sense that—it shows the Philippine government is willing to listen to their perspective, to their concerns to the extent that it helps create goodwill for the peace process, we welcome this development,” he added.

Peace discussions between the government and the rebels were suspended in November, when the Philippine government rejected demands to free several guerrilla members being held in government prisons.