Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has called on militant leaders to surrender. (Photo: Reuters)

Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has called on militant leaders, who were temporarily freed from detention to participate in peace negotiations, to surrender.

In a speech in San Miguel, a town north of Manila, Duterte said on November 24 that he had freed up to 40 detained leaders to show that his administration was sincere in talking pace with insurgents.

“I’m ordering those I have released temporarily to surrender or again face punitive actions. I released you because I thought it might help you”, he said in a military camp in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija province.

He issued the warning a day after he decided to terminate peace negotiations with the rebel groups.

The Philippine Government has been trying to reach a peace deal with the rebels but has failed to make headway.

Peace negotiations with the revels were first suspended in 2011, and though Duterte’s administration revived the talks in August last year, the talks have bogged down, partly due to a series of attacks launched by rebels against troops and civilians.

Conflicts between the government and armed groups, which began in 1969, have killed some 30,000 people.-VNA