No peace talks if it’s in PH – Joma
LUCENA CITY –– A day after the communist rebels agreed to return to the peace negotiation table, rebel leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison on Saturday declared that it would not happen if the government would insist on resuming it in the Philippines.
“This precondition is totally unacceptable to the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) because it aims to put the NDFP and the entire peace negotiations in the pocket of the Duterte regime and under the control and surveillance of the bloodthirsty military and police who engage in mass murders and other heinous crimes with impunity,” Sison, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder and the NDFP chief political consultant, said in a statement from his base in Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Sison recalled that when President Duterte announced on Thursday that he was sending Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to talk to him for the possible resumption of the peace negotiation, “I noticed that Duterte did not make any precondition for resuming the peace negotiations.”
Sison also remembered telling the media in several interviews that he and the NDFP welcomed the offer for the sake of the Filipino people.
“I went to the extent of saying that the NDFP had never closed the door to peace negotiations with the GRP under Duterte or any other president,” Sison said.
“But within 24 hours after the Duterte offer, he and his sidekick [Hermogenes] Esperon put forward the precondition that the peace negotiations must be resumed in the Philippines,” Sison charged.
Esperon is National Security Adviser of the Duterte administration.
Sison retorted: “Esperon is extremely arrogant and insulting to the NDFP by declaring that it has no choice but to accept the resumption of peace negotiations in the Philippines.”
“He is practically telling the NDFP not to negotiate and challenging the people and the revolutionary forces to fight the best way they can to achieve national and social liberation,” he added.
Sison accused Esperon of “believing his lie that the reactionary military and police forces have already defeated the armed revolution of the people with fake news about fake community support projects, fake surrenders and fake encounters.”
Sison, maintained that the purpose of informal talks “is to settle first the issues that prevent the formal resumption of the peace negotiations and to take advantage of the progress and level of agreement of previous negotiations regarding the amnesty and release of political prisoners and the draft agreements on social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and ceasefire.”
Sison blamed the Duterte regime for terminating the negotiations in 2017 “by issuing Proclamation No.360 to terminate said negotiations, Proclamation No. 374 designating the CPP and NPA as “terrorist” and Executive Order No. 70 militarizing and making the government fascist, to mention only the most important anti-peace issuances of the tyrant Duterte.”/lzb
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