Joma says 2014 interim peace agreement only a draft, not formal pact
LUCENA CITY—Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison said that while an “interim peace agreement” was signed by representatives of the Aquino administration and exiled rebel leaders in a series of meetings in December 2014, the document should not be treated as a formal pact.
“It is a mere draft and it is not yet a peace agreement. Initialing a draft only means letting it stand for the next meeting,” Sison said in an online interview on Monday, referring to the document he called the “Draft Interim Ceasefire Agreement.”
But he said the 2014 draft, officially called the “Joint Agreement on the Resumption of the Formal Talks on the Peace Negotiations between the GPH (Government of the Philippines) and the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines)” would no longer serve its purpose in the proposed reopening of the peace talks under the incoming administration of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
“Invalidated na yong dating draft for an interim ceasefire and related matters dahil ibinasura ni President Aquino at Deles. Magpanibagong working draft (The old draft for an interim ceasefire and related matters would be invalidated because this was junked by President Aquino and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles. We should craft a new working draft),” Sison said.
The draft document was signed by Sison and top NDFP negotiators Fidel Agcaoili, Vicente Ladlad and Danilo Borja, and members of the “secret” government delegation Hernani Braganza, Jaime Aristotle Alip, Efren Moncupa and Francisco Lara Jr.
Sison assailed the claim of an unnamed member of the government delegation during the meeting in The Netherlands that the CPP and NDFP representatives did not even demand the release of all rebel suspects, but only those involved in the peace negotiation.
Sison branded the claim as “ridiculous.”
“The release of all political prisoners was demanded as an obligation of the GPH in compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (Carhrihl) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig),” he said.
“The Aquino regime did not want to [order their] release. That is exactly why the Draft Interim Ceasefire Agreement never graduated from a draft to a full-fledged official document of the GPH and NDFP,” he said.
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