OSLO, Norway – As far as his former professor is concerned, President Rodrigo Duterte has done a satisfying performance in his first 100 days in office.
Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison said Duterte has positive points particularly with his initiative in resuming the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
The second round of the peace talks between the government and the NDF is ongoing here in Oslo since Thursday.
“I mentioned in my opening remarks yesterday, one of his strong points is his interest, initiative in having the peace negotiations resumed and moved forward,” Sison said in an interview at the Holmenfjord Hotell here.
At the formal opening of the peace talks yesterday, Sison said one of the strong points of the Duterte administration is the accelerated process of the peace negotiations.
He also cited the openness of Duterte to the principles and policies of the NDF unlike past administrations.
He said based on their assessment of Duterte’s first 100 days “the leading patriotic and progressive organizations have made a conclusion that the Duterte government is doing well.”
“You know when you talk about peace negotiations, nandyan na yung human rights and international humanitarian law, social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms. So ano yun, malaman (You know when you talk about peace negotiations, there is the issue on human rights and international humanitarian law, social and economic reforms; political and constitutional reform. So that’s a lot),” he said.
Sison also lauded Duterte’s vow to pursue an independent foreign policy.
“Maganda yun, that jives with the desire of the NDFP to have real and more of national independence because the Philippines is semi-colonial, sunud-sunuran sa Kano (That’s good, that jives with the desire of the NDFP to have real and more of national independence because the Philippines is semi-colonial, and is subservient to the Americans),” Sison said.
Asked if he will be giving the President a passing rate, Sison said yes but added that Duterte still faces criticisms over the alleged extrajudicial killings in relation to the anti-drug war.
He also said that the anti-drugs campaign of the government is publicly supported and agreed that the drug menace is widespread.
But Sison said they hope the government initiates “more crackdown on the top level drug lords”.
“Sabi ko nga eh, release all the political prisoners to make space for the drug lords (That’s why I said, release all the political prisoners to make space for the drug lords),” he said.
Sison and newly-appointed NDF negotiating chief Fidel Agcaoili reiterated their position for the government to release political prisoners in compliance with the CARHRIHL and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees which gives protection to consultants of both the government and the NDF.
The NDF insists that releasing the political prisoners is affording justice to those who were charged with trumped up cases for their political beliefs.
Sison added that the Communist movement is choosing to emphasize on the good points of Duterte “for the sake of achieving a just and lasting peace.” (davaotoday.com)