MANILA, Philippines–The government on Monday hinted at a rift within the so-called “reaffirmist faction” of the Communist Party of the Philippines that could be influencing the stalled peace negotiations between the government and the communist rebels.
Presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Deles said the government peace panel’s recent consultations with communities affected by the decades-long insurgency have raised one important question: is the government even talking to the right people?
“Who are we talking to? Are they the right people? That was the advice to us, that we should examine that question,” Deles said at the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines forum.
CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison and Luis Jalandoni are heading the negotiating panel of the CPP and its political arm, the National Democratic Front and armed group, the New People People’s Army.
Government chief negotiator Alex Padilla said that according to the government’s intelligence sources, Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, members of the CPP’s Central Committee, are now the ones “in-charge.”
Padilla said that one indication that Sison may no longer have control over the CPP’s people on the ground was when the latter reneged on the documents that he himself presented during the “special track” on the talks that was proposed by the CPP-NDF-NPA panel itself.