Joma Sison: If Marcos is willing, peace talks can continue

FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2017, file photo, Communist Party of the Philippines leader Jose Maria
FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2017, file photo, Communist Party of the Philippines leader Jose Maria "Joma" Sison delivers his speech during the formal opening of the Philippines peace talks in Rome. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison said on Tuesday (June 28) that the peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) may continue under the new administration of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. That is, if Marcos is willing.

“NDFP is always open to peace negotiations with the GRP whoever is president. It was Duterte who terminated the peace negotiations in 2017… but if the incoming Marcos administration is willing to talk, why not?” he said.

At the same time, Sison recognizes that “there are no indications that Marcos would like peace talks.”

“Resuming peace negotiations is quite easy… by simply reaffirming the agreements that were previously agreed upon and signed by the two parties in the negotiations,” Sison said.

Sison was referring to two agreements that have already been agreed upon by the Philippines government and NDFP: the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). GRP has been criticized by the NDFP for failing to uphold the first two agreements in the peace process.

“There is nothing that the NDFP can do to resume the peace negotiations if the GRP insists on carrying out an all-out war policy,” Sison claimed.

Sison mentioned how previous post-EDSA administrations had a short attention span on peace negotiations, even saying that the peace GRP’s previous efforts in the peace process were mere “lip service.”

“Each of the post-Marcos regimes from Aquino to Duterte had the uniform objective of using the peace negotiations only for a few months and not for more than a year, as a means of lip service to the cause of peace, carrying out military surveillance, preserving the exploitative and oppressive ruling system and trying to maneuver the NDFP into a position of capitulation,” Sison said.

He added, “The Marcos fascist dictatorship never engaged the NDFP in peace negotiations and never succeeded in destroying the revolutionary movement. Instead, this movement of the people succeeded in expanding nationwide… ultimately causing the downfall of the fascist dictatorship.”

National Security Adviser (NSA) Dr. Clarita Carlos previously mentioned on June 9 that she had no plans to negotiate for peace with the NDFP and instead focus on providing opportunities to the marginalized.

"And 'wag ka nang makipag-negotiate. Jusmio, parang bata pa ako nagnenegotiate na tayo. Tigilan na natin 'yan,” Carlos said.

(Let’s not negotiate anymore. My God, it’s like we’ve been negotiating since I was a child. Just stop it.)

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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