Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has publicly offered houses and jobs to Maoist rebels who are locally known as the New People's Army (NPA) despite the failed series of peace talks between Duterte's peace negotiators and the rebels' negotiating team.
Duterte made this announcement at a press briefing in his hometown Davao City after his two-day official trip to Japan.
However, Duterte's offer comes with a condition. The Maoist-leaning rebels have to surrender first and the houses and jobs will be given to them.
Duterte said that he was willing to offer houses and jobs to NPA militants if they lay down their arms as he challenged Maoist rebels that if they don't surrender, there will be a war in the next 50 years.
"There's a job waiting for you (referring to the militants) and I am building around 5,000 houses throughout the country through the National Housing Authority (a government agency)," Duterte said.
But months before, Duterte surprisingly hinted that he was no longer interested to negotiate peace with the militants after they attacked some military and police outposts which resulted in the death of Philippine law and security enforcers.
A few weeks earlier, Duterte also warned the Maoist rebels that after his war against ISIS militants in Marawi, he will deploy soldiers to run after the Maoist rebels. The battle against militants ended last week where more than 800 ISIS-linked militants were reportedly killed in the battle.
When the peace talks with the NPA rebels failed for the fifth time on May 27, Duterte publicly announced that negotiating with the Maoist rebels is "a waste of people's money."
But Duterte made a quick turn around after his trip to Japan saying that he was not ready to give up and negotiate with the Maoist rebels.
"If you are already tired of fighting and if you no longer want to kill a fellow Filipino in the battle, then you can surrender and a job will be there waiting for you," Duterte said.
Government Panel Chairman Silvestro Bello also reiterated that the prospect of the peace negotiation is also bright and the government peace panel is just waiting for President Duterte's official instruction as to when to resume the peace talks.
The NPA rebels' struggle is the oldest insurgency in Southeast Asia. It started as a movement in 1968 and remains an active revolutionary organization up to the present.