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Sison: Duterte should guarantee safety of NDFP execs returning to PH

LUCENA CITY – The scheduled return to the country of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) leaders to seek audience with President Duterte for the possible resumption of the peace talks is in danger of being cancelled, exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison said Saturday.

Sison said the homecoming of NDFP chair Fidel Agcaoili, NDFP senior adviser Luis Jalandoni and NDFP panel member Coni Ledesma is scheduled on Sunday (Nov. 18).

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“The homecoming of Fidel, Louie and Coni might not push through due to threats from Año (Interior Sec. Eduado Año) that some of them might be arrested or slapped with court summons to harass at humiliate them” Sison said in an online interview from his base in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Though the overseas-based communist leaders welcome reports that preparations are already being made by Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza, Sison said they are waiting for the categorical declaration from President Duterte that his returning comrades would not be bothered or harassed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) or the (Armed Forces of the Philippines) during their stay in the Philippines.

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“They still have a day to make the final decision to travel, although they already have tickets from the RNG (Royal Norwegian Government) third party facilitator,” Sison said. The RNG has been acting as a third-party facilitator to the on and off peace negotiation between the government and the NDFP.

Sison noted that the President has yet to give his assurance for the safety and protection of the returning NDFP leaders.

“Sometimes, (Duterte) is volatile or sends contradictory signals to his people in the AFP and PNP,” he said.

According to Dureza, there are no pending warrants of arrest against Agcaoili and Jalandoni.

“They will not be arrested unless they violate the law if they come here,” Dureza said.

Dureza added that the petition filed at the Department of Justice to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing New People’s Army and the NDFP as terrorist groups also remains pending.

“So, if they’re coming here and the President agrees, I don’t think they will be touched at all,” he said. /muf

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TAGS: AFP, arrests, Dureza, Duterte, local news, NDFP, Peace talks, Philippine news update, PNP, Sison
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