Joma: NDFP won’t join government public consultation on peace talks

Joma: NDFP won’t join government public consultation on peace talks
By: Delfin T. Mallari Jr. – @inquirerdotnet
Associated Press / 09:46 PM June 21, 2018

LUCENA CITY – Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison denied that the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is inclined to join the government-initiated public consultations on the peace talks.

“Why should we go into consultations with the Filipino people with the GRP arranging, controlling them and inviting the NDFP to them?” Sison said in response to a statement made by government negotiator Hernani Braganza that the NDFP is considering their invitation to join the public consultations.

He added, “In the first place, NDFP is intimately linked with the Filipino people, especially the oppressed and exploited people.”

Sison, the NDFP chief political consultant on the peace talks, said they would rather have third-party peace advocates arrange [the] public consultations “where the government and NDFP representatives appear on equal terms.”

In a statement, Fidel Agcaoili, NDFP panel chair, said they will continue to conduct consultations on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) to review the remaining outstanding issues in the sections on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ARRD) and National Industrialization and Economic Development (NIED), as well as to polish its draft on Environmental Rehabilitation and Compensation and Upholding People’s Rights in order to prepare for the continuation of negotiations on CASER.

The CASER calls for, among other solutions to the country’s social problems, free land distribution and rural industrialization.

The NDFP will also hold unilateral consultations with its working group on Political and Constitutional Reforms, Agcaoili said.

On June 18, Braganza led a government team that flew to Utrecht in the Netherlands to explain President Duterte’s order last week to defer the resumption of the formal peace talks to the NDFP.

The talks were originally scheduled on June 28 to 30 in Oslo.

The President wanted it moved to a later date but without a definite timeline to accommodate a wider public consultation.

Duterte also insisted that the talks should be held in the Philippines. /ee

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