Reds urged to ‘reciprocate Duterte’s gesture of goodwill’

MANILA Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Bong Go on Tuesday backed President Rodrigo Duterte's fresh initiative for peace talks with the communists, as he urged them to take advantage of the opportunity because they might not have another shot at peace.

Sino ba namang Pilipino ang gustong pumatay sa kapwa Pilipino? Ako naman kung may pagkakataon pa sa panahon ni Pangulong Duterte na mag-usap, posible po (na matuloy). Pero na kay Pangulong Duterte na po iyan pagdating sa usapang pangkapayapaan., Go said in a radio interview.

Go, a senatorial candidate in the 2019 elections, expressed hope that communist groups would reciprocate Duterte's gesture of goodwill for peace.

Wala na po kayong ibang leader na pwedeng ninyong kausapin. Kaya ang ibig kong sabihin dito pag pinalampas ninyo itong terminong ito ni Pangulong Duterte, mahihirapan na po kayo. Siya lang po ang nakakaintindi (sa inyo), Go said.

He said when Duterte was still mayor of Davao City, the two of them had gone to the mountain lairs of various New People's Army group in the region.

Lahat po ng bundok inakyat na namin, walang bodyguard, walang armas. Kasi kinukuha namin yung mga sundalong kanilang binihag. Ibig sabihin kami po ay nagtiwala sa kanila noon, at ipinagkatiwala namin ang buhay sa kanila na hindi nila kami gagalawin, So mataas yung tiwala sa kanila ni Pangulo noon, Go said.

Go said the fact that Duterte opened up Cabinet posts to leftist figures meant that he really extended the hand of reconciliation to the Reds.

Nung umupo siya bilang Pangulo binigyan po niya ng chance yung nasa leadership nila, gusto niyang magkaroon na po ng reconciliation. So ibinigay niya yung pwesto ng DSWD, yung DAR, even NAPC. So ibig sabihin nito si Pangulo talagang inaabot niya ang kanyang kamay, Go said.

However, he said it's not Duterte's fault if such appointees had problems with the Commission on Appointments.

Go said he understands why Duterte decided to scrap the peace negotiations with the communist group when they started attacking his administration.

Noong mga nakaraang buwan kini-criticize po siya, binabanatan ang administrasyon niya. So umiba naman po ang istorya at ihip ng hangin, Go said.

Go expressed hope that the peace talks with the Reds would go in the way of the government's peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front that culminated in the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

The BOL, which would establish the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, is set for ratification through a plebiscite to be held on 21 January 2019.

As part of his legislative agenda, Go is pushing for the conduct of localized peace talks by providing local government units with support mechanisms for such initiative, pursuant to Duterte's executive order creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

Kasama na rin po dito ang karagdagang tulong natin sa mga rebel returnees tulad ng cash assistance, training, pabahay, lupang matataniman, tulong medical at scholarship para sa kanilang mga anak, Go said.

Meanwhile, the former presidential aide said if he wins a Senate seat, he would push for improved fire safety and protection program.

Since Monday, Go had been visiting fire victims in Tondo, Baseco compound, and Obando, Bulacan to provide aid to fire victims.

Yun po ang gusto kong isulong, itong fire safety measures and prevention, Go said.

Go's legislative agenda also include programs on health, agriculture, housing, education, anti-illegal drugs and criminality, long-term sports development, anti-corruption, creation of a Department of OFW, barangay welfare, and improved benefits for senior citizens. (PR)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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