Duterte meets rebels, says talks with Abu Sayyaf 'out of picture'

Duterte meets rebels, says talks with Abu Sayyaf 'out of picture'

- President Rodrigo Duterte said that he will not deal with the Abu Sayyaf clarifying that he will not speak with "criminals"

- The President is set to meet rebel groups in Mindanao to discuss peace issues

- The President earlier declared a unilateral ceasefire against New People's Army but lifted it days later when NPA rebels attacked military personnel

President Rodrigo Duterte said that while he will prioritize fixing issues of peace in Mindanao, he will not deal with the Abu Sayyaf clarifying that he will not speak with "criminals".

The statement on Monday is in line with his initial plan to visit Mindanao for 10 days to address the issue of peace among rebel groups.

“I will not deal with persons of extreme brutality. There is no redeeming factor or reason for me to sit down and talk with criminals,” the President who hails from Mindanao said referring to the Abu Sayyaf.

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Duterte meets rebels, says talks with Abu Sayyaf 'out of picture'

President Rodrigo Duterte (left) is set to meet with MNLF founder Nur Misuari (right) Photo by news.vice.com

The President said that Abu Sayyaf had no idealogy comparing the group to communist and moro rebels.

President Duterte had earlier declared a unilateral ceasefire on the New People's Army (NPA) during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25.

The president then lifted the ceasefire after the rebel group attacked military forces days after.

READ ALSO: ‘The road to peace is a rocky one’ – Duterte

In the same press briefing, the President also said that he is set to meet MNLF founder Nur Misuari to discuss peace issues.

“If we would not get to talk, how can we fix these things?”, the President said.

President Duterte vowed to promote peace in Mindanao on top of his dedication to crack down on criminality and illegal drugs.

READ ALSO: Government must abolish political dynasty not party-list system – Akbayan representative

Meanwhile, an NPA rebel was killed by military forces in an encounter in Surigao del Norte days after the President lifted the ceasefire. -Kami Media

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