MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte met with militant leaders who staged a rally outside the Batasan Complex after delivering his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday afternoon.
BAYAN Secretary General Renato Reyes said in a Facebook post that they were summoned by the President.
Reyes confirmed to ABS-CBN News that they met with Duterte after the SONA.
“We were seated at the island resting while waiting for the pack up of the stage when we were approached by the PNP who asked us to go with them. He did not say where and why. We just followed thinking they just wanted to discuss something,” Reyes said.
He said Duterte also met with Lumad leaders.
According to the militant leader, the President talked about peace and how he wanted to devote more resources to social services once armed conflict has been resolved.
“(It turned) out we were brought to a lounge where the President was waiting. He wanted to meet the activists gathered outside. Many had left though,” Reyes said.
“The Mindanao delegation had to walk back to Batasan to catch up. We talked about peace and how the President wanted to devote more resources to social services once the armed conflict was resolved,” he added.
The meeting between Duterte and the militant leaders lasted for about one hour and a half. Reyes said they appreciated the gesture.
“It was a long meeting starting at 7:00 p.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m. It was a gesture we truly appreciated. A lot of first indeed in President’s first SONA.”