Duterte to reconsider peace talks with Reds

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President Rodrigo Duterte says he has to talk to the military, which has been fighting off the communist insurgents. (FILE PHOTO)

Updated to include statements from Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 20) —  After his relationship with communist rebels got strained, President Rodrigo Duterte said he is considering the resumption of peace talks.

"I'm talking to the communists. The Norwegian officials came here to score the possibility of talking again. I have to consult my military people,"  the President said in a speech before lawmakers Tuesday.

Norway's government hosted and facilitated peace talks between the government, and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its negotiating arm, the National Democratic Front (NDF).

But Duterte said he will still consult the matter with the military, which has been fighting the CPP's armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA).

"Sabi ko [I said], I will have to talk to the military. If they would agree, I might," he said

The President said he would offer soldiers ₱25,000 each for every NPA member they kill.

"They cannot be more than 3,000. Sa ₱25,000, makamura ako [I can save money]," he added. He previously offered the indigenous groups in Mindanao the same amount for the same task.

CPP founder Jose Maria Sison earlier threatened to kill one soldier a day.

The Norwegian government on February 16 committed to assist in the peace talks between  the Philippine government and the CPP-NPA-NDF. The talks were canceled in November, following a series of attacks by the communist rebels.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, however, said chances of reviving the peace talks are slim.

"Wala po atang katuturan na makipag-usap ng kapayapaan kung sila (CPP-NPA-NDF) ay hindi interested sa tunay na kapayapaan,"  he said in a press briefing Tuesday.

[Translation: There's no point to have peace talks if the CPP-NPA-NDF is not interested in actual peace.]

But Roque said should the military change its mind on the insurgents, the President will listen to them.

The CPP's insurgency has almost lasted 50 years and is dubbed Asia's longest running armed struggle.

CNN Philippines' Senior Correspondent Ina Andolong and digital producer Chad de Guzman contributed to this report.