WritingsinterviewsON HOMELAND AND MANGOES

ON HOMELAND AND MANGOES

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Interview with Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
NDFP Negotiating Panel

By Nina Calleja
Reporter of Philippine Daily Inquirer
29 November 2010

1. Are you really yearning to go home?

JMS: Yes, indeed, I yearn to return home, to my country and to the people whose rights and interests I stand and fight for.

2. Why are you still in The Netherlands? Why was Benigno Aquino able to return home?

JMS: I have work to do for the peace negotiations in a a foreign neutral venue abroad as stipulated by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). Aquino was in a different situation. He went home because he thought that it was safe to go home due to bipartisan assurances of the Republican Party (through then Secretary of State Schultz) and Democratic Party (House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Stephen Solarz) that he would not be killed by Marcos.

3. What would make you go back to the Philippines? What are the things in the Philippines that you always yearn for in The Netherlands? What do you miss most about the Philippines?

JMS: I would certainly go back upon the impending success of the peace negotiations or the revolution or upon the emergence of an anti-imperialist government. I long to see things that are not in The Netherlands: the mountains and the mangoes. These are the things I miss most, aside of course from the people who are the most important.

4. Sir, by success of peace negotiations you mean if the social and economic reforms are met?

JMS: I mean the comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, and the end of hostilities and disposition of forces are successfully finished.

5. A what-if question, what do you plan to do in the country if finally you can return home? Can you think of dangers or disadvantages?

JMS: I will do a lot of travelling and meeting the people. The dangers and disadvantages would have to be considered and dealt with properly.

6. Facebook is one way you can reconnect to friends and comrades, what were the surprising news from them you read/learned through Facebook? personal and political?

JMS: Sometimes I get to know through Facebook some political events and family events faster than the usual means. I am surprised to know how and where are relatives, friends and former classmates.

7. Can you cite some political or personal events that you come to know first from FB?

JMS: Ahead of conventional news sources, I learned through Facebook: political event–student strikes in the Philippines; and personal events—ten women relatives and friends giving birth within one week.###

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