From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 29): Gov’t eyes localized peace talks in wake of Joma’s threat to withdraw
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday said the table is now set for localized peace talks.
Lorenzana's remarks came after Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison announced that they will no longer seek peace negotiations with the government.
"Mr. Sison, in response to your childish tantrums, we will vigorously pursue the ongoing localized peace talks. I am sure that once you are out of the picture, true peace will have a chance to become a reality and you will be consigned to the dustbin of history," Lorenzana said in a statement.
The defense chief also chided the CPP founder for using the peace talks to be in the limelight, adding that without it, Sison is deemed irrelevant.
"Without it (peace talks) you are irrelevant. You also know that the President can terminate the talks, and this is why you are desperately using reverse psychology and intimidation to save it," Lorenzana emphasized.
Earlier, the CPP founder said they are withdrawing from the peace negotiations following the recent cancellation of peace talks slated for June 28 to 30. Also, Lorenzana said that during peace talks, rebel groups and their allies are not really interested in the peace process.
"They have already admitted that the peace talks is basically in support of their armed struggle. It was never their principal objective. Their term 'just and lasting peace' is a situation when they have finally succeeded in their armed struggle, definitely not our idea of just and lasting peace," the defense chief pointed out.
He added that the public should not be swayed by Sison's superficial words about reforms.
"They will institute reforms all right, but along communist lines when they have finally won. In fact, they don't even have to win because their socialistic CASER (Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms), which they are trying to ram down our throats, will ensure that they will have a foothold in governance," Lorenzana added.
This is a far cry from government efforts to institute reforms in accordance with laws, resources and people’s most pressing needs, such as land reform, job generation projects, infrastructure development, and other poverty alleviation initiatives, he added.