Sison to Duterte: Reopen peace talks to ‘escape hell’
LUCENA CITY, Philippines – Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison on Sunday advised President Rodrigo Duterte to resume the peace negotiation between government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to “escape the wrath of hell.”
“I absolutely have no intention to accompany Duterte in his trip to hell, whether this be a medieval religious presumption or a figure of speech for historical infamy,” Sison said in a statement from his base in Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Sison made the statement after the President declared that both he and Sison had nowhere else to go but hell after their death.
“I’d be happy to go with him hand in hand to the mouth of hell. We won’t go to heaven. It’s really hell for us,” the President said in his speech on Saturday during the mitíng de avance of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan’s (PDP-Laban) in Pasig City.
Sison maintained that the President “is destined for historical damnation for being treasonous, tyrannical, murderous, corrupt and swindling.”
However, Sison said the Chief Executive, who was his former student in college, could still save himself from eternal damnation by reopening the stalled peace talks with the communist rebels.
“I invite Duterte to change course from the direction of hell, mend his ways and resume serious and sincere peace negotiations with the NDFP through duly-authorized negotiating panels within the framework of The Hague Joint Declaration,” Sison said.
“Then we can work together to respond to the demands of the Filipino people for social, economic and political reforms,” Sison said.
He added: “I am not blinking but I am winking at my former student to indicate to him that he can avoid getting hell from the Filipino people and their revolutionary forces by acceding to the reforms needed for a just peace”.
The peace talks between the government and the NDFP first broke down in November 2017 as the administration cited the continued attacks by fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA), the NDFP’s armed wing on state forces despite ongoing negotiations.
The NDFP is the umbrella group of all communist-led underground organizations in the country that has been conducting on-and-off peace talks with the government since 1986.
Consequently, the President signed Proclamation No. 360 formally terminating the peace discussions with the communist rebels.
The President also terminated the appointment of all government peace negotiators.
The government earlier planned to create a new five-member government peace panel to be composed of two civilians and three military representatives to pursue localized peace talks.
However, the rebels rejected the local peace talks. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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