Thursday, December 12, 2019

Duterte, Joma Sison can’t agree on venue for peace talks

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on communist party leader Jose Maria Sison’s insistence on a foreign venue for negotiations The Philippine government and the Communist Party of the Philippines could not agree on where to hold the next possible round of peace talks.

It appears the prospect of another round of peace talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) encountered its first deadlock, as President Rodrigo Duterte and CPP founder and leader Jose Maria Sison disagree on where to hold the negotiations.

In December 2018, Duterte ordered the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to hold “localized peace talks” between local government units and individual NPA fronts.

Early in his term, Duterte welcomed members of the communist movement in Malacañang and even appointed some of them to his Cabinet.

The NDFP, the CPP’s political wing, could not trust Duterte’s government “while it refuses to carry out goodwill measures, such as the release of sickly and elderly political prisoners on humanitarian grounds, and engage in reciprocal unilateral ceasefires during the Christmas season up to the first week of New Year,” Sison added.

Duterte did not declare a ceasefire with the communist insurgents during the Christmas holidays in 2018.