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Negotiators do not control NPA – Joma

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by Rocky Nazareno

Prof. Jose Maria Sison said Monday night that although he is the founding chairman of the 49-year-old Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), he does not exercise control over the leftist group’s armed component, the New People’s Army (NPA), which has continued to engage government forces in armed conflict despite ongoing peace negotiations.

In a rare and exclusive interview with the Manila Bulletin (MB) editors Monday night through Skype from Utrecht, Netherlands, where he has been in exile for 31 years, Sison said “no one in Utrecht has ever claimed to control the revolutionary forces and people in the Philippines.”

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“No one in Utrecht can give orders to the CPP, NPA, NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) in the Philippines,” said Sison, who is the Senior Political Consultant of the NDFP.

The Philippine Government (GRP) and NDFP are in the thick of peace negotiations that were resumed in Oslo, Norway, last August, and will be on the fifth round of formal talks in Noordwick ann-see in the Netherlands from May 26 to June 2.

“The collective leading organs of the CPP, NPA, NDFP, which are based in the Philippines, are the principal of the NDFP Negotiating Panel. They give orders and instructions to the NDFP Negotiating Panel,” said Sison, who is more popularly known as “Joma.”

And while many regard him and Leftist stalwarts Luis Jalandoni and Fidel Agcaoli as the senior leaders of Communist movement, the 78-year-old Sison said that the leaders of the CPP, NPA, and NDFP “give orders to the NDFP Negotiating Panel and to the NPA in the battlefield.”

In fact, Sison pointed out, “there is nothing the NDFP Negotiating Panel can do if the order from its principal in the Philippines is to disengage from the peace negotiations.”

Jalandoni, 81, stepped down as NDFP Peace Panel chairman in October last year, and Agcaoili has taken over his post since then.

The NPA and government forces have figured in fierce, and often deadly, encounters since January after the two groups withdrew their respective unilateral ceasefires.

Both sides have also hurled accusations of violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Laws (CARHRIL) because of the skirmishes.

Despite this, Sison said he was still optimistic about the results of the peace negotiations to end 49 years of armed struggle by the Communist insurgents.

At the moment, Sison said, reaching a Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) is the pivotal point in the negotiations.

Discussions on the CASER, which are currently being held in the country, include issues on agrarian reform, rural development, and national industrialization.

“Malaki na ang inabante ng (There has been much progress in the discussion on)  CASER,” Sison said,but much still has to be done to reconcile “87 pages of the drafts of the NDFP and 35 pages from the GRP.”

But he expressed confidence that the CASER could be signed before the end of the year, together with another pillar of the negotiations – the Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms (CAPRC).

“By the first quarter of 2018, we may already have the foundations for a Joint Bilateral Ceasefire,” he said.

In the meantime, Sison said, the Communist side continues to be open to “simultaneous and reciprocal unilateral ceasefire declarations” with the government as a “transitory measure” to put a stop to the armed conflict.

He underscored that this remains the position of the NDFP since a backchannel agreement was reached last March 1 in Utrecht.

NO TO CIMATU

Sison also slammed the appointment of former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Roy Cimatu as replacement for Gina Lopez as Environment and Natural Resources secretary.

He charged that the appointment of Cimatu, a native of Bangi, Ilocos Norte, was only made possible because of the concession given by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to the Marcoses who helped him win in the 2016 presidential elections. Sison said Cimatu was a “very bad substitute, replacement” for Lopez.

“Kung ganyan ang Kongreso na di mo maasahan sa mga gustong ilagay ni Duterte sa kabineta, ano na ang maasahan mo sa (If Duterte cannot rely on Congress to approve the nomination of his choices for cabinet secretaries, what more with his priority) legislation?” Sison asked.

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  • Maynila Dyaryo

    eh, di wow!?! what a revelation! and probably what all the people knew all along. best junkets ever?!

  • kalealaskador

    Forget Joma! He is passe! Deal with the NPA/NDF rebels IN THE PHILIPPINES directly. There is no need for a middleman or an agent. Unnecessary expense lang ang mag-abroad for negotiations with the wrong people.

    JUNKET lang!

    • El Salvador

      Absolutely JUNKET for both sides.

  • Felino Garlitos

    Bring Home the Phl negotiators! With Joma’s revelation that he has no control of the dissidents, any outcome of negotiations made by him would be useless. Did the Government side know about this? Break up and pull out. What a waste of money, energy and manpower, and media posturings!

  • DanteCatalino Garcia

    Joma is a communist living in a capitalist country and enjoying the good life. Break up the talk and get those government people home and put the rebels back to the jail.

  • Josemakabayan

    If you dont have control over your armed wing , whats the use of talking peace with you??? You may sign an agreement with the government but yet you are saying it is not a guarantee that there will be peace ??? Is that it??? Because you dont have control over your ground troops ??? You never wanted peace, you want POWER and CONTROL!!!!

    • El Salvador

      So what is happening is just useless talk which will end with nothing accomplished. St*pid for both the govt and the NDF.

  • John

    Joma is a Dutch Citizen. He’s living in the comfort of his cozy house watching television and eating Appeltaart and bitterbalen (traditional dutch delicacies) while receiving pensions from the Amsterdam government. Al these while the NPA cadre’s are dying of hunger and malaria in the jungles and mountains. Time to call off this insanity.

  • Mr Askal

    Inutil

  • Right_Expression

    Should Joma Sison statement is true that as chairman of CPP/NPAs/NDFs he can’t control other NPA rebel groups terroristic activities in the country what is the point of DuDirty having a costly peace talk with him. Perhaps they are buddies and under peace talk Joma Sison is entitled for huge sum of money as ‘Padulas’. Or it is possible Joma is playing with fire in order to achieve more control keeping NPA’s into two categories, one with peaceful agreement with the government and one is operating under the real NPA rules of engagement. Well they are all birds with the same feathers that flocks together.

  • penoy

    One simple question: THEN WHAT USE IS THE PEACE TALKS? Better yet move all our soldiers to eradicate insurgents.

  • mistisongpinoy

    Ala Pontius Pilate, don’t start something you cannot stop. But this is what it is ” deception”. as it has always been!

  • Kuya_Orot

    Andaming gusto ni Joma!! Bakit kaya ayaw niyang umuwi sa Pilipinas at tumakbong presidente para maipatupad ang kanilang kagustuhan.

  • MAGNETIC LEVITATION

    That explains and why even if peace talks is on-going NPA is still attacking government forces.
    Hence, the need to declare this group as a band of terrorists.

  • hot mama

    lintik na yan, eh para na rin sinabi mo na personal na lang yun interest mo jan sa peace talks para makakuha ka ng favor at maging free from any legal cases in due time

  • Gerry Oxales

    THEREFORE PEACE TALKS WITH YOU IS USELESS!
    WHAT IS THE GUARANTEE THAT WHATEVER YOU AGREE WITH THE GOVT. PEACE PANEL WILL BE HONORED BY THE CPP & NPA IN THE PHILIPPINES???

  • casper

    ammmpppp..budol budol..

    hahahhaha..

  • philspratly

    claro ang sinabi ni joma. So mr. dureza and mr duterte, what are you waiting for . You all heard it. stop wasting your time with them

  • ALASKAdor

    sayang lang ang panahon at pera dyan sa peace talk…. in the end, wala din manyayari dyan…. kung talagang true leader c joma hindi nya aayaan mga tao nya nasa bundok, samantala sya sarap buhay sa ibang bansa….

  • BMT_540

    Terminate peace talks immediately if NPA can not be reigned in and atrocities stopped. This is useless negotiations and will only benefit them. It is clear that the current NPA leadership does not recognize Joma and his group.

  • Abe68elguerra

    NO POINT OF TALKING FOR WHAT NPA ARE NOW LETHAL LIKE A CRAZY DOG. NO MORE LEADERS ONLY MEMBERS RUNS THE SHOW. STOP PEACE TALK.

  • GustoKoHappyKa

    So….what the puck are we wasting time talking to this $h1t!