Dureza resigns as Duterte peace adviser
Jesus Dureza, presidential peace adviser, talks to reporters on the sidelines of the Mindanao Media Forum in Davao City in November.
Philstar.com file photo

Dureza resigns as Duterte peace adviser

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - November 27, 2018 - 9:15pm

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza has resigned while two of his senior officials have been dismissed, President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday night. 

"I am very sad that I accepted the resignation of Secretary Dureza," Duterte said during the inauguration of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport.

Dureza, who was named special envoy to the European Union in October, had been involved in preparations for "goodwill" talks with members of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines for a potential return to formal peace talks with communist rebels.

On November 18, he said that the president had tasked him and presidential spokesperson Savador Panelo to meet with National Democratic Front of the Philippines leaders Fidel Agcaoili and Luis Jalandoni for "an informal chat" in Manila.

He had previously said the meeting could happen before the end of November.

RELATED: 'Goodwill' meet with NDFP seen in November

Duterte also said that he had fired Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Undersecretary Ronald Flores and Assistant Secretary Yeshter Donn Baccay because they had "messed up" but did not elaborate. 

He said another official is facing dismissal but did not give details.

"I fired Undersecretary Ronald Flores of the presidential (adviser on the) peace process," the president said.

"I fired his 'Usec' and Baccay. I'm still going to fire another one. In fairness to Secretary Dureza, maybe because he is the head of the office. Itong dalawa nagkalat (The two messed up)," he added. 

Flores was the undersecretary for support services and the national program manager of Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana), a development project for former rebels. Baccay, meanwhile, was assistant secretary for support services and Pamana concerns.

Duterte dismissed the two officials days after he fired Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council secretary-general Falconi Millar, who allegedly asked money from a company with receivables from the housing agency.

Millar has denied the allegations of corruption.

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