Sison won’t come home yet despite assurance of safety | Inquirer News

Sison won’t come home yet despite assurance of safety

By: - Correspondent / @dtmallarijrINQ
/ 06:30 AM June 01, 2018

Jose Maria Sison FILE PHOTO

LUCENA CITY — Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison said on Thursday that he was not inclined to return to the country despite President Duterte’s assurance of safety.

“I welcome the assurance of safety by President Duterte. It is much better that there is such an assurance,” Sison said in an online interview from his base in Utrecht, the Netherlands.


Gen. Carlito Galvez, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said the military was willing to provide security to Sison if he returned home.


“That’s no problem because we are committed to peace,” Galvez said on Thursday. “Like what we do for the [other peace] consultants—you have seen we have not touched them and nothing has happened to them.”

IPA signed next month

But Sison said he would only return to the Philippines after the signing of the interim peace agreement (IPA), which, according to him, is already being prepared for next month.

He said the IPA’s approval by both panels on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (Caser) had been set for July or August.

Considered the “heart and soul” of the peace process, the Caser calls for, among other things, free land distribution and rural industrialization.

Interest of the people


“The most important thing is that we can dialogue and agree on how best we can serve the interest of the Filipino people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants through the peace negotiations and cooperation under the principles of national sovereignty, democracy and social justice,” Sison said.

The government panel and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are set to sign the IPA to pave the way for the resumption of formal peace talks, said Sison.

He said back-channel consultations between the two peace panels resulted in the recent approval of the IPA.

The NDFP is the umbrella group of communist-led underground groups conducting on-and-off peace talks with the government since 1986.

Sison said the signing of the IPA would contribute to the success of the peace talks and add to mutual confidence-building measures.

In urging Sison to sign the IPA in the country, Mr. Duterte assured his former college teacher that there would be no “Aquino-style” assassination upon his return.

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Mr. Duterte was referring to the late Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., who was assassinated on Aug. 21, 1983, on his return to Manila after years of self-exile in the United States. —WITH A REPORT FROM JAYMEE T. GAMIL

TAGS: Joma Sison, Peace Talks

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