MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is challenging communist leader Jose Maria ‘Joma’ Sison to return to the Philippines and have a one-on-one talk with him.
The President’s agenda is about the peace process away from the usual Philippine Government-National Democratic Front’s way of doing things, according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
“The President is daring him to come home to the Philippines and have a one-on-one talk with the President,” Panelo said.
“He is asking him to come to the Philippines, there will be no enforcement of any warrant, just come to the Philippines and talk with him,” he added.
Sison, who is on self-exile, is recognized as a political refugee in Utrecht, the Netherlands and enjoys the protection of the Refugee Convention and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Panelo said the Chief Executive wants the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to explain the recent attacks of the New People’s Army (NPA), the group’s armed unit, against government forces in Camarines Sur and Iloilo on the eve of the ceasefire.
“We condemn of course the violations of the ceasefire agreements,” Panelo said.
“We are giving them the chance to explain why it has committed such violations. He (Duterte) will wait for the explanation coming from them,” he added.
Meanwhile, Panelo said President Duterte is considering the request of her daughter, Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte to maintain localized peace talks and exclude the city from the negotiations with the Reds. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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