DAVAO CITY, Philippines – National Democratic Front of the Philippine (NDFP) chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison said that they are still open to resume the peace negotiations with the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte, on Thursday (Dec.5), said he is sending Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to talk to Sison in a bid to revive the negotiations between the communist rebels and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and NDFP which collapsed on 2017.
“This is my last card. When I say my last card, my time is running out,” Duterte said.
“The quest for, the longing for peace is always there, not for the military and the police but for everybody. The doors must be open always or there must be at least one channel if everything closes through which you can talk,” he said.
In an exclusive interview with Kodao Productions, Sison said that the NDFP remains open to negotiations despite Duterte’s termination of peace talks and his issuance of Executive Order No. 70, establishing a whole-of-nation approach in ending the local communist insurgency.
“Who knows, Duterte might realize that he’s trying to do the impossible and he’s merely aggravating the problem,” Sison said.
“With the EO 70, the NDFP only kept quiet but it never withdrew its line that they are open to peace negotiations,” he added.
After terminating the peace talks, Duterte signed a proclamation declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as a terrorist organization and attempted to cut foreign funding to alleged CPP-NPA “fronts”.
Several NDFP consultants were also arrested and facing charges.
NDFP rejected Pres. Duterte’s previous offers for the resumption of stalled peace talks with preconditions including to stop the collection of so-called revolutionary taxes. (davaotoday.com)