President Rodrigo Duterte revealed his will not be the last word on whatever peace agreement the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) enters into with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
In a speech in Tanza, Cavite Thursday (November 22) to inaugurate a new barge port, Duterte said he will seek approval from the military and the police before signing a final agreement with the NDFP even if he already approves of it.
“Give me the final draft [of a peace agreement]. If I like it, I will pass it on to the military and the police. I will ask [them], ‘Is this alright with you?’” Duterte said.
“Kasi, kung ‘di naman tanggap ng militar at pulis, I coup d’etat ka naman. Anak ng jueteng!” he explained. (Because, the military and the police will only launch a coup d’etat against me if they are against it. Son of a b****!)
Duterte also revealed he decided not to meet NDFP chief peace negotiator Fidel Agcaoili and senior peace adviser Luis Jalandoni.
“And this Agcaoili and Jalandoni would come here and talk to me. I said, ‘Why should I talk to you? You talk to [Presidential peace adviser Jesus] Dureza and [GRP chief negotiator Silvestre] Bello,’” Duterte said.
Duterte, however, has previously met with Agcaoili and Jalandoni after his election and assumption of the presidency, even promising to issue a general amnesty for more than 500 political prisoners.
Agcaoili, Jalandoni and NDFP Negotiating Panel member Coni Ledesma was set to arrive in the Philippines this week to meet with the new Norwegian Ambassador the Philippines and attend meetings as members of the Joint Monitoring Committee of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
The three negotiators did not push through with their homecoming after being threatened with arrest by interior and local government secretary Eduardo Año. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)