Thursday, March 16, 2017

Joma lauds resumption of talks, hopeful of peace pact under Duterte

From GMA News (Mar 16): Joma lauds resumption of talks, hopeful of peace pact under Duterte

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Ma. Sison has lauded the government's decision to return to the negotiating table with the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

"It is in the people’s interest for the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and the NDFP to pursue the forging of a peace agreement," said Sison, 78, the NDFP's chief political consultant, in a statement.

Government and NDFP peace negotiators announced earlier this week the resumption of the formal talks in April, after President Rodrigo Duterte terminated it on February 4, citing ceasefire violations by the New People's Army (NPA), the armed wing of the CPP.

Presidential adviser on the peace process Jesus Dureza said that the fourth round of the peace talks will resume next month following backchannel talks with the NDFP panel.

In his statement, Sison expressed hope that a final peace agreement will be reached under the Duterte administration.

"The peace agreement should uphold the sovereignty and independence of the Filipino people, strengthen democracy for the exploited and oppressed people, 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," said the Netherlands-based Sison.

He said "foundations" for a lasting peace "can be achieved within the current term of President Rodrigo Duterte."

Sison is now helping in the preparations for the next round of talks after even if he is under the care of medical specialists and health workers due to an undisclosed ailment.

"I am on the way to full recovery," he said. "I am presently helping in the preparations for the 4th round of the formal peace talks and hope to participate actively during the 4th round."

Expected to be discussed in the next round of talks are the proposed bilateral ceasefire and social and economic reforms.

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