Metro Manila, Philippines — There will be no peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA) under the leadership of new Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.

“I’ve never considered it. Why? Because if they want to return to the fold of law, they will be rehabilitated. They will be taught skills. They will be resettled. There is no reason whatsoever to [reopening] talks with the CPP because it undercuts and undermines the democratic process,” Teodoro told CNN Philippines’ The Final Word on Wednesday.

The Defense chief also said the left-leaning group’s ideologies mainly lead to gaining political power, and key members of the CPP could legally run for office if they wanted to.

“What we cannot tolerate is legitimizing their existence,” he said.

“They have already been reduced in number because of development, and because of the awakening of our people to the reality that they do not practice what they preach. Their aims are different from what they pretend to preach,” he added.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte terminated the peace talks with the CPP-NPA in 2017.

The CPP said it was open to resumption of peace talks with the Marcos administration after the death of party founder Joma Sison in December 2022.