Jose Maria Sison: We will talk if gov’t shows sobriety, willingness
LUCENA CITY, Philippines—Sobriety and the willingness to talk could break the deadlock on the peace negotiations between the Aquino administration and the communist insurgents, self-exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison said on Wednesday.
“If the GPH (Government of the Philippines) somehow shows sobriety and willingness to talk, the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) will not hesitate to open wide the door for peace negotiations between the duly-authorized panels,” Sison, NDFP chief political consultant, said in reply to an e-mail question on whether the communist panel plans to invite government representatives to an informal meeting to settle the kinks hindering the resumption of the peace negotiation.
Sison maintained it was the government, specifically pointing to Teresita Deles, the presidential adviser on the peace process, who announced the termination of the peace negotiations last April.
“It should be the GPH side, especially at the level of President Aquino, who should send us an emissary who is mutually respected by the GPH and NDFP,” said Sison, who is now living in self-exile in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
He said President Aquino can also send a “positive message to the NDFP” through Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) Special Envoy Ture Lundh. RNG has been facilitating the on and off negotiations since 2001.
“Sooner than you expect, the NDFP panel might even be the one sending someone to Manila to ascertain what is the real sentiment of President Aquino,” he told the Inquirer.
Sison noted that the NDFP panel “has no record of rejecting a mutually respected emissary.”
“The NDFP has also repeatedly declared that the peace negotiations are in principle going on if no side has given a formal notice of termination to the other side,” Sison asserted.
The NDFP is the political arm of the CPP. Its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), has been waging sporadic war against the government for the past 44 years, considered as the world’s longest-running Maoist inspired rebellion.
When asked what the government should do to show its sincerity and what the NDFP has to give in return to the gesture, Sison said the “GPH should show willingness to comply with existing agreements.”
“If it does not, the NDFP sees no point in negotiating and making agreements with the GPH,” Sison added.
Negotiations between the communist rebels and the government have been stalled since 2004.