Palace wary of Joma word on peace talks

October 21, 2018
Joma Sison

MALACAÑANG is treating with caution communist leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison’s statement that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is willing to resume  peace negotiations with the Philippine government whenever President Rodrigo Duterte is ready. 

Presidential spokesperson and chief presidential legal adviser Salvador Panelo said he has yet to talk to Duterte about Sison’s statement.

“Pero ang problema naman kay Joma Sison ay gusto niya makipag-usap pero hindi naman niya kontrolado ‘yung mga nasa baba niya. Habang nag-uusap, ina-ambush nila ‘yung mga pulis natin,” he said.

Sison, in a Facebook post, said it was up to the Duterte to end his position of terminating the peace negotiations through Proclamation 360.

Duterte signed Proclamation 360 in November last year that terminated the peace negotiations with the CPP-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP).

“The standing policy of the NDFP is to negotiate with the GRP anytime he is ready to resume the peace negotiations in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration and further agreements,” Sison said.
In order to end the hostilities, Duterte has offered housing and employment for NPA members who would surrender.

“Your underground movement will not amount to anything. But I am ready to accept you if you surrender. Bring your firearms, give it to me, and I will give you a house and a job. You can be sure of that,” Duterte told the communist rebels in a speech on Friday.

Panelo said it is about time for the communist rebels to accept Duterte’s offer.

“Sabi nila, we cannot be killing each other for the rest of our lives, e 50 years na kayong ganyan. Siguro mag-iba naman tayo ng ruta. Bigyan natin ng pagkakataon ang mga sarili natin, ang mga pamilya natin,” he said.

“Baguhin natin ang taktika ng pagtulong at pagbago sa lipunan,” he added.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza had said that talks could still be revived if both parties would reach an “enabling environment” for negotiations.