PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte will send an agent to talk to Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria C. Sison in the Netherlands in a bid to resume peace talks.

“He should go there and talk to them,” Mr. Duterte said at a briefing on Thursday, referring to Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III..

Mr. Bello led the government panel on peace talks with Maoist rebels but this was dissolved in March.

Mr. Duterte noted that even if he had doubted in the past that talks could resume, not doing so doesn’t show true leadership.

“I can’t say I don’t want to talk to them,” he said in Filipino. “That is not a statement of a leader, of a president.”

“The longing for peace is always there and is not for the military and the police but for everybody,” Mr. Duterte said.

The president’s only request is for peace talks to be held in the Philippines and a cease-fire must be in place during negotiations, Labor spokesperson Rolly M. Francia said, citing Mr. Bello. — Gillian M. Cortez