MANILA, Philippines – National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison is not inclined to prematurely return to the Philippines without “significant advances” in the peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Philippine government.
Sison declared that he would certainly return home when a significant advance in the peace negotiations has been achieved within the framework of The Hague Joint Declaration.
He added he would only return to the country if comrades and lawyers are satisfied with legal and security precautions.
“I am confident that the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and the NDFP negotiating panels, consultants and drafting teams will be able to produce in the next few weeks the documents necessary for resuming the peace negotiations and making the peace process strong and stable,” Sison wrote in a statement, Monday.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder cited that the premature move may even expose not only him but also the entire peace process to extremely high risks of violent sabotage and termination by spoilers who are out to terminate the peace process once and for all.
“I thank President Duterte for his expressed wish for my soonest homecoming and for his assurances of hospitality and guarantees for my safety. I have long wished that we could meet again and cooperate closely in enabling the peace process to advance from one item to another in the substantive agenda,” he added.
In the next few weeks, however, he said both GRP and NDFP negotiating panels should prepare for the resumption of the peace talks by doing the following:
1. Making a memorandum of agreement to respect existing agreements prior to Proclamation 360 (which terminated the peace process) and to remove the obstacles and hindrances to the participation of a significant number of NDFP negotiators, consultants and experts in the peace negotiations;
2. Drafting the mutually satisfactory agreements on ceasefire and amnesty of the political prisoners as well as the parts of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development and National Industrialization and Economic Development; and the
3. Signing and approving the agreements well within the 60-day frame that President Duterte has set by way of resuming the peace negotiations.
Last Saturday, Duterte invited his former professor to return to the Philippines and possibly resume the peace negotiations in the country.
“I created a small window. Sixty days. Proposal ko kay Sison, hindi ako magpunta doon. Ang pinag-awayan natin, ang Pilipinas, pumunta ka dito. Ako mag-bigay ng pamasahe, I will pay for all your…pagkain,” Duterte said during a speech in Albay.
“Ito kayong mga guerilla front, you stay in one place, mag-kampo na kayo, dalhin ninyo ‘yang baril ‘yan sa loob ng kampo ninyo. You seek to tell us where you are, you can go out of the camp, minus the arms. But I will give you the complete freedom to move. Wala akong molestiyahin. Order the military and the police to be nice to you,” he added.
Duterte terminated the peace negotiations with the NDFP in November last year with Proclamation No. 360. He consequently issued Proclamation No. 374 declaring the CPP and its armed wing, New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist organizations.
During the 24th Duterte Cabinet meeting last April 4, the President ordered Peace Secretary Jesus Dureza to work on the revival of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. (davaotoday.com)