Lacson: Localized peace talks better as Sison ‘no longer has control over NPA’
MANILA, Philippines — The government should no longer negotiate with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Joma Sison, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Tuesday, believing that the exiled communist leader “no longer has control” on the New People’s Army (NPA).
Lacson expressed support to the government’s plan to instead form a peace panel that will oversee localized peace talks with communist rebels.
“Experience has shown that while Sison asks for a ceasefire and government accommodates his request, NPAs continue conducting ambushes and raids,” Lacson said in a statement.
“This shows Sison no longer has control over the NPA’s armed regulars,” he added.
According to the senator, localized peace talks and peace efforts with communist rebels is a better way to end the five-decade insurgency problem in the country.
Lacson said governors, mayors, and local government officials could aptly facilitate peace talks with local communist guerillas so the military could focus on areas where NPAs remain a threat.
“It is better that governors and mayors and other LGU (local government unit) officials be the ones to talk to local communist guerrillas, under the guidance and direction of a government peace panel that will provide the parameters for such localized peace talks but with enough flexibility in handling such peace initiatives,” he said.
Lacson then noted government should only negotiate with communist rebels who do not listen to Sison.
“Such a move is long in coming. I have always believed that this is the better way to deal with the five-decade insurgency problem,” he said. /kga
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