Formal peace talks with Reds likely to resume in January – Bello
December 13, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — The government intends to resume the formal peace talks with the communist group come January next year.
According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III who serves as the government’s chief negotiator, the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) would probably resume on the second or third week of January.
NDFP is the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founded by activist Jose Maria ‘Joma’ Sison who is now in exile in the Netherlands.
Over the weekend, Bello was able to talk to Sison who responded favorably to President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer for both parties to return to the negotiating table.
In line with this, Bello said the CPP may declare a truce on December 20 or 21.
Though Sison agreed to the resumption of the peace talks, he wants it done on a neutral venue.
In a recent interview, Sison said he could meet President Duterte in person but he wanted to have legal and political guarantees that he’d still be protected under the provisions of the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Though the meet-up is a remote possibility, Sison said, it may not happen in the Philippines but “maybe in a nearby country.”