Sison appreciates Duterte for resumption of GRP-NDFP peace talks

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 March) – Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison “expresses deep appreciation” to President Rodrigo R. Duterte for re-opening the peace negotiations between the government (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

In a statement issued Wednesday, Sison, Duterte’s former professor on Political Thought, said that “it is in the people’s interest for the GRP and the NDFP to pursue the forging of a peace agreement.”

The fourth round of formal talks is set for April 2 to 6 in Oslo, Norway.

On forging the peace agreement, Sison said it must uphold the sovereignty and independence of the Filipino people; strengthen democracy for the exploited and oppressed people; and create the conditions for economic development through land reform, national industrialization and expansion of social services and benefits, promotion of patriotic and scientific culture and peace and development in a multipolar world.

He said that the foundations for these can be achieved within the Duterte administration.

Sison, 78, said that he is on his way to full recovery after he was hospitalized for some time but he has been helping in the preparations for the next round of peace talks.

“I wish to inform the public that I have been hospitalized for some time but under the care of a team of medical specialists and other health workers, I am on the way to full recovery,” he said.

During the next round of talks, GRP panel member Antonio Arellano said both panels will flesh out the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-economic Reforms (CASER) and the bilateral ceasefire agreement.

He added no timeline was set on the signing of CASER and ceasefire agreement as these are “complex issues which had been with us since we become a state” and cannot be resolved “summarily.”

“It goes to the root of the rebellion. You cannot project the time, but hopefully matapos within six months may mga drafts na both sides.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)