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No formal talks yet but only informal meeting – Sison

Sison blames military for repeated collapse of peace talks

Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (File photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

LUCENA CITY – Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison said the report on President Duterte’s coming announcement on the resumption of the aborted peace talks would only deal with the start of the “informal meeting” between government and communist representatives and not yet the formal peace negotiation.

“Anything not yet to be resolved has to be resolved in an informal meeting prior to the formal meeting to resume the peace negotiation,” Sison explained in an online interview on Friday afternoon.

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He said the informal meeting is the “normal practice” in peace negotiation.

He said the informal meeting between government and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace panels will be held in a “neutral foreign venue”.

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“Possibly soon to prepare the formal meeting to resume the peace negotiation abroad in January,” Sison said.

Labor Secretary and government peace negotiator Silvestre Bello III reported that President Duterte is set to make the announcement on the resumption of the peace talks possibly next month.

Bello made the declaration after he briefed the President on the result of his backchannel talks with rebel leaders in Utrecht on Dec. 6.
On Thursday, Sison declared that there was a 90-percent chance that the peace talks would resume, but that the remaining 10 percent of unresolved issues could still make or break the prospect.

Among the contentious issues that have yet to be resolved include the venue of the formal peace talks and the freedom for elderly and sickly political prisoners, as well as the safety and immunity guarantees for the NDFP consultants in the peace negotiations.

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TAGS: Communist Party of the Philippines, Jose Maria Sison, Peace Talks, President Duterte
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