Joma: Communist rebels ‘to single-mindedly wage people’s war’
Communist rebels have “no choice but to single-mindedly wage people’s war” against the Philippine government following the cancellation of peace talks, communist leader Jose Maria Sison said on Thursday.
Sison made the remark after Peace Secretary Jesus Dureza announced that the scheduled resumption of peace talks in Oslo, Norway between the government and the rebels was canceled.
The cancellation, Sison said, has shown that the Duterte administration “is not interested in serious peace negotiations with the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines).”
“Because the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) under Duterte is obviously not interested in serious peace negotiations, the revolutionary forces and the people have no choice but to single-mindedly wage people’s war to achieve the national and social liberation of the Filipino people,” Sison said in a statement.
Sison said the cancellation of peace talks was “disappointing and frustrating” since the agreement to resume the talks on June 28 was already signed by negotiating panels of both sides and was witnessed by a Norwegian special envoy.
In canceling the peace talks, Dureza said that coming up with a peace agreement would be useless without the support of the public, so the government peace panel “would go and listen to the public.”
“[For] our peace efforts to succeed, [it] should have good support from the general public. Hence, it is necessary that all efforts be exerted to inform and engage them in the same way the government engages the rebels [to] address the root causes of conflict,” he said.
On the other hand, President Rodrigo Duterte said he was not yet ready to resume the peace talks since he needed “a little more time.”
Sison emphasized that the written agreements forged by the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines panels have been signed by no less than the respective chairpersons of both panels, Labor Secretary Silvester Bello III and Fidel V. Agcaoili and witnessed by the Royal Norwegian special envoy Ambassador Idun Tevdt on June 9.
“I urge the two negotiating panels to release to the public and to the press the written and signed agreements of June 9 and 10 signed by the chairmen of the GRP and NDFP negotiating panel and by the members of their respective special teams,” Sison said.
Sison also accused the government of breaking the provision in the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on the Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) which requires formal negotiations in a foreign neutral venue and “therefore putting the negotiations under the control and under the duress of an emerging fascist dictatorship and its armed minions.” With a report from Delfin T. Mallari Jr., @dtmallarijrINQ, Inquirer Southern Luzon
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