Sison: Duterte just, reasonable; peace talks with him to succeed
DAVAO CITY – Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison is confident that communist rebel and Philippine government negotiators can hurdle problems in the peace negotiations with Rodrigo Duterte as President of the Philippines.
Sison, the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), described Duterte as “just” and “reasonable.” He has been known to listen, Sison said.
“There should never be any problem in the peace process that we cannot discuss and fix promptly, directly or through emissaries. We have the necessary degree of rapport to exchange views and come to an agreement quickly in order to bring the peace process to a successful and happy conclusion,” Sison said in a written statement distributed during the “Pakighinabi (Dialogue)” forum at the Ateneo de Davao University here on Wednesday.
The communist leader said Duterte was his student in political thought and that the President-elect was once a member of the militant organization Kabataang Makabayan, which he founded.
“I am proud of having some part in the development of President Duterte as a political activist and leader,” Sison said.
Speaking highly of his former student, Sison remarked that Duterte might be rash in his statements but he has been consistently pro-poor and pro-people.
“President Duterte is known to spontaneously make abrupt or sometimes tentative statements, especially in the economic field. But he is also known, especially by those who know him enough, to listen to what is just and reasonable and is capable of changing or adjusting a previous position. He is said to be never deliberately unjust and unreasonable,” Sison said.
Sison added that Duterte “has long demonstrated that he has the strength of character, the political will and determination to engage the revolutionary forces and what is good for the people.”
“He is not afraid of denouncing foreign interlopers and the oligarchs and describing himself as a socialist and as the first Left president of the Philippines,” Sison remarked.
Duterte’s statement about his willingness to open a coalition government with the NDF “has encouraged” them to consider its probability, Sison said.
“I make these comments in the hope that his anti-imperialist, democratic and socialist intentions and reflexes will allow him to understand that even within the International Monetary Fund there is now growing criticism of neoliberal economic policy for exacerbating inequality and economic stagnation,” Sison said.
“I believe that as truce and alliance or cooperation advances in our relations he will grasp fully the requirements of national industrialization and general land reform,” he added.
For the peace process to succeed, mutual determination from both the government and the NDFP is the most crucial factor, Sison noted.
“Since President Duterte is a professed socialist, it should be easy for him to agree to the bourgeois democratic reforms that the NDFP is proposing for uplifting the social conditions and lives of the Filipino people,” Sison said. SFM/rga
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