Joma: Duterte offered peace talks resumption ‘out of desperation’
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine communists leader Jose Ma. Sison on Thursday took a swipe at President Rodrigo Duterte, saying the Chief Executive merely offered the return to the negotiating table “out of desperation” because his administration failed to quash the 51-year-old insurgency.
Sison made this remark despite agreeing to and supporting the planned resumption of peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
“All efforts of the Duterte regime to destroy the CPP and the revolutionary mass movement have failed. Thus, out of desperation, he offered once more peace negotiations with the NDFP on December 5,” Sison, CPP founding chairman, said in a Facebook post.
According to Sison, who has been on self-exile in The Netherlands for around three decades now, said the military and the police “exposed their own evil intentions” by demanding that peace talks be held in the Philippines just after Duterte offered another shot at the negotiations.
Sison pointed out that such a demand would put NDFP negotiating members under “enemy duress, control and surveillance and make themselves available for slaughter at any time.”
“Nonetheless, the people’s demand for a just peace, the clamor of peace advocates for peace negotiations, and the willingness of the anti-militarist section of the Duterte regime support the consistent stand of the CPP and the NDFP to be open to peace negotiations and to seek all possible ways to counter the rampant violations of human rights and to propagate the people’s demand for basic social, economic, and political reforms,” the communist leader said.
He also said that he agreed to a unilateral and reciprocal ceasefire between CPP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), and state security forces “in order to foster an environment favorable to the resumption of peace negotiations.”
Sison then enumerated the conditions by which peace talks can once again resume, after being canceled several times under the Duterte administration.
“The resumption of the peace negotiations can be realized by reaffirming the mutual agreements since The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992, by superseding the presidential issuances that previously terminated and prevented peace negotiations, and by laying the ground for the Interim Peace Agreement,” he said.
Sison reiterated that the agreement is a package of pacts involving the general amnesty and release of all political prisoners, approval of the articles of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms, particularly on agrarian reform and rural development as well as national industrialization and economic development, and coordinated unilateral ceasefires.
Despite the ongoing truce between the NPA and government forces, he said the CPP and the entire revolutionary movement should be “vigilant and militant” against counter-revolutionaries who seek the downfall of the revolutionary forces “at the expense of the national and democratic rights and interests of the Filipino people.”
The holiday cessation of hostilities started on December 23, 2019, and will end at 11:59 p.m. on January 7, 2020.
“So long as there is yet no final agreement that ensures a just peace, the people and their revolutionary forces have all the right to wage revolutionary struggle,” Sison concluded.
Edited by KGA
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