Joma to Robredo: Localized peace talks just an intelligence operation

The scheme gives the military and the police the opportunity to bribe or kill those who make the mistake.

The next President of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) must first do away with the obstacles put up by the Rodrigo Duterte government before peace talks with the Left could resume, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison said.

Asked to react to Vice President Leni Robredo’s statement in Cagayan de Oro that she prefers localized peace talks with the Communists, Sison said her proposal is merely a scheme to divide the revolutionary movement.

“The pretend peace talks aims to sow discord in the movement and an intelligence operation for the military and police to identify persons they can bribe or kill from those who make the mistake of agreeing to the scheme,” Sison said.

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“Localized peace talks are merely a part of the dirty tricks of US-designed armed counter revolution implemented for a long time already in the Philippines,” he added.

Presidential aspirant Robredo renewed calls for localized peace talks with communist rebels throughout the country as a step to forging an agreement with the NDFP, Rappler reported.

The way I see it, there is a need for localized peace talks. We can attain peace if we address the roots of the problem…(including) poverty and inequality,” Robredo said.  

But Sison said the next administration must resume the peace process from where the Duterte government terminated them and do away with Presidential Proclamations 360 and 370 that terminated formal peace negotiations and declared the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (NPA) as so-called terrorists.

Sison added that the next government must also cease focused military operations against civilian communities alleged to be supporting the NPA, dismantle the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, and repeal the Anti-Terrorism Act, among other obstacles.

He said that the next government must reaffirm and agree to strengthen the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement of Safety and Immunity Guarantees.

“The NDFP should also learn lessons from the fact that even if the peace talks had been held abroad since 1992, the Duterte regime has been able to use these to abduct and kill NDFP negotiating negotiators, consultants, resource persons and staff,” Sison said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)