By Aaron Recuenco
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison welcomed Saturday President Duterte’s openness to go back to the negotiating table.
In a statement, Sison said it has always been the policy of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to be open to peace negotiations with the Philippine government.
Sison is the chief political consultant of the NDFP.
“Enemies need peace negotiations before they can become friends or partners for the sake of the Filipino people who desire social, economic and political reforms as basis for a just and lasting peace,” said Sison.
“Thus, I welcome the statement of Duterte that he is still open to peace negotiations even as there is still an exchange of hostile words in the mass media and exchange of bullets in the battlefield,” he added.
Sison explained that the peace negotiations could also pave the way for the end of the martial law implementation in Mindanao since the operation of the communist rebels is one reason cited for its extension.
He said the peace negotiations is also a means to stop the Charter change that can only pave the way for what he describes as bogus Federalism.
“The NDFP presumes that when peace negotiations resume, the way is open to the forging of agreements on social, economic and political reforms that are desired and needed by the people,” said Sison.
But Sison said Duterte’s interest to resume the peace talks would not diminish their determination to seek the President’s ouster.
“It is the consistent policy of the NDFP to be open to peace negotiations with the Duterte regime despite the determination of the NDFP to seek the ouster of this regime,” said Sison.
The communist rebels have been waging almost five decades of armed struggle against the government.
Attempts to strike a peace deal with the communist rebels have repeatedly bogged down, including under the Duterte administration.