CPP’s Sison outlines prospects for peace negotiations

Posted on June 25, 2016

DAVAO CITY -- The founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has outlined prospects for peace negotiations during a video conference during the Davao Media Forum on June 21 at UCCP Haran.

Professor Jose Maria Sison, who is also the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), said the resumption of formal peace talks within the first month of the Duterte administration is an auspicious start and premised on the previously signed agreements.

The ceasefire between the armed forces of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the NDFP and the eventual success of the peace negotiations should make more resources available for expanding industrial and agricultural production and education, health, and other social services, Mr. Sison said in a separate emailed statement.

The New People’s Army, the CPP’s armed wing, will not lie idle even if it is in a mode of self-defense and does not actively carry out offensive military campaigns and operations against the AFP and PNP, he said. The NPA can continue to engage in mass work, land reform, production, health care, cultural work, politico-military training, defense, and protection of the environment and natural resources.

There is also a plan to accelerate the peace negotiations to measure the seriousness of the Duterte government to make substantive progress in the talks, Mr. Sison said.

Resources should not be wasted through profit remittances by the multinational companies, foreign debt payments, bureaucratic corruption, luxury consumption by the oligarchy, excessive military spending, and other forms of lopsided spending for schemes like K-12 which is meant to make education unpatriotic in content, more subservient to the needs of multinational firms, more expensive, and more privatized, he said.

He described Duterte as the principal and the most important factor on the side of the GPH, who has the political will or determination to pursue the peace negotiations to a successful and happy conclusion.

“President Duterte did not suddenly drop from the sky. He grew up intellectually and politically under conditions of ever worsening conditions due to the chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system. Since his youth, he has been inclined to side with the oppressed and exploited. He was my student in political thought and joined the Kabataang Makabayan,” he said.

Mr. Duterte had always declared that he is the first Left president of the Philippines.

“Let us give him a chance to prove it. Let us avail of the peace negotiations as one of several ways of clarifying what needs to be done and what can be done in order to bring about full national independence, democratic empowerment of the working people, economic development through national industrialization and land reform, social justice, expanded public education and advance of a patriotic and progressive culture,” Mr. Sison said.

Mr. Sison also applauded the chief negotiator of the Philippine government, incoming Secretary of Labor and Employment Silvestre Bello III, who according to him has a record of negotiating diligently and working effectively with his own panel members and with the negotiators of the NDFP in making the aforesaid agreements. -- Maya M. Padillo