Illustrative image (Source: AFP)

Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana on February 7 said that peace talks between the government and the New People’s Army (NPA) to end nearly five decades of conflicts might still take place despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for an all-out war against the rebel group.

Lorenzana made the statement in the context of conflicts still happening in some places and the government’ troops arrested some leaders of the NPA.

Speaking at the news conference, Lorenzana stressed that President Duterte does not completely close the door to any negotiation and the government remains open to peace talks if they bring benefits to Filipinos.

On February 3, the President also declared to annul the unilateral ceasefire with the NPA while the Philippine army pledged to have no mercy on the rebel group. One day later, he announced that the Government will cancel peace talks with the NPA.

The conflict between the government troops and the NPA has killed 30,000 people in the past five decades.-VNA