Palace: No reason for US to deny Joma Sison removal from terror list
Malacañang sees no reason for the United States (US) to deny the request of the government to delist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison from its terror list.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said delisting Sison from the US list was “aligned with the President’s wish to hold peace talks with the leadership of Communist Party of the Philippines.”
“The government maintains its position that there is no reason for the US to deny this request bearing in mind that Mr. Sison is part of the negotiating panel,” Abella said in a press briefing on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (Opapp) said it would be sending a formal request to US to remove Sison from the list of international terrorists.
“As part of the Duterte administration agenda for peace, it would take all necessary steps to ensure that the agreements made will be inclusive, comprehensive and integrated with all stakeholders meaningfully involved in the process of negotiation and implementation,” Abella said.
The delisting of Sison was one of the recommendations agreed upon by the Philippine government and the CPP’s political arm, the National Democratic Front (NDF), during the peace negotiations in Rome.
Despite the recent clash between soldiers and the New People’s Army (NPA), Abella said the peace talks were “gaining ground.”
“The talks are moving forward and were gaining ground. And the talks will not be hampered by any activities on the ground,” he said.
“The Palace understands that there is activity on the ground that there’s also noise on the ground. However, based on the negotiating panel and based and the actions and agreements that have been formed, their talks continue forward. So we’re positive that things can be worked out,” he added.
The Palace official said they would leave it to the NDF to talk to its own people after the NDF released a statement before the third round of peace talks in Rome, saying some of its members wanted to end the unilateral ceasefire with the government.
“We understand also that there is also conversation with their own people. So let us leave it to them to be able to settle matters among themselves,” he said. CDG
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