National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison said reasons are abundant for the peace negotiations if only Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) President Rodrigo Duterte listens to reason.
In his quick reply to Duterte’s challenge to be given reasons to resume peace negotations, Sison said his former student can no longer be swayed by any reason based on the latter’s repeated termination of the talks and despite NDFP’s standing policy to be ready and willing to negotiate.
“You are already crazed by your drive for absolute power and absolute corruption. Every day you rage with your favorite call to your armed minions: Kill, Kill, Kill. You offer no solution to the crying problems of the people but further exploitation and oppression,” Sison said Monday.
Last Sunday, Duterte challenged, “Communists, Jose Ma. Sison, give me a good reason to go back to the bargaining table. If there is none, or if it’s just a repeat of what we have discussed earlier, then that will not suffice.”
Duterte demanded that the Communists should give him “more” to convince him to resume the peace talks as he is “greedy” for proof of their sincerity.
“I need more, I need more. I might be greedy. But I am greedy because I’m [a] worker of the Republic of the Philippines,” Duterte said.
Last June, however, it was not NDFP’s sincerity that Duterte cited as his reason for his last cancellation of formal peace talks.
As announced by Presidential peace adviser on the peace process, Duterte wanted three months to study the documents mutually crafted by both GRP and NDFP negotiators and to “engage the bigger peace table, the Filipino people.”
Set for signing by the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels was an Interim Peace Agreement package that included agreements on agrarian reform and rural development, national industrialization and economic development, a coordinated unilateral ceasefire, and an amnesty proclamation for all NDFP-listed political prisoners.
In his subsequent speeches regarding the peace talks, Duterte also demanded that the peace talks should be held in the Philippines if he would agree to its resumption.
Duterte eventually revived previous government’s localized peace talks scheme instead, which was unanimously rejected by Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army (NPA) and NDFP formations throughout the country.
Sison said Duterte’s localized peace talks scheme are nothing fake surrender exercises.
“Your paramilitary agents are the ones posing as the surrenderers,” Sison told Duterte.
“Every local command of the NPA has condemned you offers of bribes for surrender. They have expressed their determination to fight and finish your tyranny, corruption and mendacity,” Sison added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)