‘Peace talks not a surrender’—Joma Sison
WHAT will make communist rebels turn their backs from the negotiating table?
“If for instance the Duterte government is only interested in a prolonged ceasefire so it can forget all the demands of the people for social, economic, and political reforms, then the revolutionary movement has to reconsider if it will still go on with the peace process,” said Communist Party of the Philippines founder Joma Sison when asked about their non-negotiables.
In reciprocation with the CPP’s truce, President Rodrigo last week restored the unilateral ceasefire with communists ahead of the ongoing peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Oslo, Norway.
The government said the ceasefire “will last as long as necessary to bring peace in the land” to “provide an enabling environment for the success of the peace talks.”
But Sison said participating in the peace negotiations was not equivalent to surrendering and giving up their demands, which he said were very attainable.
“The reforms being demanded are really attainable, and if those negotiating on both sides have the interest of the people in mind, what is wrong with national independence and doing away with unequal treaties and agreements? What is wrong with giving more leeway to workers and peasants? What is wrong with economic development through national industrialization and land reform?” he said.
“These negotiations is not a process of surrendering. As long as oppression and exploitation continue, there is always fertile ground for armed resistance of the people,” Sison added.
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