Dureza denies opening Duterte admin’s door to ASG, BIFF PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 12 June 2016 14:22

Incoming Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza on Friday clarified that the Duterte administration will never negotiate with extremist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) the way it will negotiate with communist movement and Bangsamoro rebel groups.

Dureza issued the statement amid reports quoting him that the incoming Duterte government is open to peace talks with extremist and bandit groups.

He said the stance of Aquino government against the ASG and BIFF remains and will be carried over to the next administration.

Dureza who flew Friday to Paris en-route to Oslo, Norway for an informal meeting with communist leader Jose Maria Sison, stressed that he, as peace adviser to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, will not talk peace with the extremists.

The ragtag BIFF was composed of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels who broke away in 2008. The government has sealed a peace deal with the MILF.

Dureza admitted having negotiated with the ASG for the safe release of his friend, Canadian tourist John Ridsel. But quickly added that in was not in the context government had talked with MILF, MNLF and the communist rebels.

“True, I have even directly negotiated with the ASG just recently to seek the release of my friend John Ridsel, whom they nevertheless beheaded as the families could not raise the demanded ransom amount,” Dureza said.

“But negotiating with them (ASG/BIFF) in the context of what we are doing with the Bangsamoro and the CPP/NPA/NDF is definitely not the way forward,” Dureza added.

“They have to face the force of the law for their terrorism and criminal acts,” he said of the terrorist organizations in southern Philippines.

On his trip to Oslo, Dureza was accompanied by incoming Secretary Silvestre Bello III and former Congressman Hernani Braganza.

“We look forward to a fruitful meeting under the auspices of the Norwegian Government in the sidelines of the Oslo Forum,” Dureza said.