Sison: NDFP to ignore Duterte demand for peace agreement draft
LUCENA CITY – President Duterte’s asking the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to submit the final draft of the peace agreement means nothing and should be ignored, exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison said Saturday.
“Duterte did not pass any ball to the NDFP. He made only a feint to pass nothing. In basketball, you ignore that. That’s why the NDFP has ignored it,” Sison said in an online interview from his base in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
On Thursday, Duterte said he wanted the NDFP to submit its version of the peace agreement which would be subject to review by state security officials. Peace talks between the government and the NDFP broke down in November last year due to alleged continuing rebel attacks on state troops.
Sison maintained that both peace panels have already made their respective drafts of the comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms (CASER) and on political and constitutional reforms. He added that the two parties have made substantial progress in reconciling their drafts of CASER.
Considered the heart and soul of the peace process, the CASER calls for, among other solutions to the country’s social problems, free land distribution and rural industrialization.
Two weeks ago, the NDFP announced that Fidel Agcaoili, Luis Jalandoni and Coni Ledesma, Jalandoni’s spouse, and also a member of the NDFP peace panel, would return to the country but aborted it due to the threat of arrest and alleged disinterest of Mr. Duterte to reopen the peace negotiation.
In his speech in Cavite on Thursday, Duterte admitted that he had no plan to face the NDFP leaders should they make good their trip back home. But Duterte vowed not to have Agcaoili and Jalandoni arrested by the police should they return home.
According to the Philippine National Police, Agcaoili and Jalandoni had a pending warrant of arrests on criminal charges in Quezon province and would have them arrested unless Duterte gives orders not to affect the arrest. Agcaoili denied that he had a pending warrant of arrest.
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