Joma: Suspension of peace talks ominous

Joma: Suspension of peace talks ominous
By: Delfin T. Mallari Jr. – @inquirerdotnet
Inquirer Southern Luzon / 06:31 PM June 21, 2018

LUCENA CITY – Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison warned that the government suspension of negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) for the next three months is ominous to peace talks.

“Duterte continues to kill the peace negotiations,” Sison said in a statement issued Thursday afternoon.

Sison accused the government of being “inconsistent and self-contradictory” even after the meeting between the government and NDFP panels early this week in Utrecht.

“It seems to wish that the gains and agreements made in the back channel talks be preserved but it has informed the NDFP that Duterte will review everything (process and agreements) since decades ago in three months,” Sison said.

He added: “It is highly probable that he would come up with more demands unacceptable to the NDFP or he would outrightly continue his unrevoked termination of the peace negotiations through Proclamation 360.”

On Nov. 23, the President signed Proclamation No. 360 that terminated the peace negotiation. Eleven days later, he issued Proclamation No. 374, declaring the CPP and the NPA as terrorist organizations. The Department of Justice is seeking the concurrence of the court to declare them as such.

More bloodshed

Sison predicted more bloodshed in the government counterinsurgency campaign in the next three months.

“The military, police and paramilitary forces will intensify their offensives and of course the revolutionary forces have to defend themselves and launch their own offensives,” he said.

He said: “There is no ceasefire in the next three months because Duterte wants to launch his military offensives first and find out the results.”

Sison urged the public and the press to “study carefully and compare critically” the two separate statements issued by the government and NDFP teams after their talks from June 18 to 20.

“The NDFP stands its ground consistently, especially for peace negotiations in a neutral venue abroad and the validity of previous agreements since 1992,” he stressed./lb

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