The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) would be willing to explore whatever offer the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) would be making to reopen the stalled peace talks, Jose Maria Sison said.
In a statement, Sison said he sees a silver lining in GRP President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent statement that he would be willing to go back to peace negotiations on the premise that the revolutionary movement could tone down its offensives against the military and police.
“There is some silver lining in [Duterte’s] statement that he is willing to engage in peace negotiations. In this regard, the NDFP is open to exploring whatever opening the GRP is willing to offer,” Sison said.
Sison explained that if peace negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP resume and reach a point where substantial agreements are made, ceasefire can be agreed upon by the negotiating parties.
‘We can talk’
In his recent speech in Masbate Province, Duterte said his government and the revolutionary movement can talk if the New People’s Army (NPA) would lessen its attacks against government troops.
“But if they can tone down, no ambush, no killing of my policemen and my military, we can talk,” Duterte said.
Otherwise, Duterte said that he will allow the purchase of individual firearms, including mayors, to protect them from NPA attacks.
Duterte said local politicians “feel naked” without firearms.
Duterte repeated his statement Thursday in a speech at the turnover of housing units to several soldiers and police personnel in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan Thursday.
“Give me another reason to talk to you again and I will be there,” Duterte said.
‘Agreements more plausible’
Sison advised Duterte to resume peace talks instead of arming civilians, saying a peace agreement is more plausible and less costly than for the government than to keep trying to destroy revolutionary forces.
Sison said the President still has time if he chooses a political agreement rather than an all-out war.
“In the next three years, it is possible for the GRP and NDFP to make a peace agreement if the Duterte regime is serious and sincere about negotiating and ending its all-out war against the revolutionary forces and the people,” Sison said.
“It is even more plausible and less costly for a peace agreement to be made by the two parties than for the GRP to seek in vain the destruction of the revolutionary forces in the next three years,” Sison said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)