Once more on the question of my return to the Philippines

By Prof.Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
May 26, 2018

I have consistently declared that I will return home when substantial progress is already achieved in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and my comrades and lawyers are satisfied with the legal and security guarantees. By substantial progress, I mean the entire CASER has been mutually approved by the GRP and NDFP principals.

For my soonest possible interface with Duterte, the NDFP has considered my meeting at the signing of the Interim Peace Agreement, packaging the ceasefire agreement, amnesty proclamation and the ARRD and NIED sections of CASER either in Oslo or Hanoi. But Duterte has insisted that the meeting be in the Philippines.

There are certain important considerations against my prematurely returning to the Philippines. First, I would be going against the established mutual agreement to hold the peace negotiations in a foreign neutral venue in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration and JASIG. Second, I would be placing myself and the entire peace negotiations in the pocket of Duterte and at his mercy. Third, any peace spoiler or saboteur would be able to destroy the entire peace negotiations by simply abducting or harming any NDFP panelist or consultant.

The original plan mutually agreed upon by the GRP and NDFP representatives in back channel consultations was to have Duterte attend the Oslo ceremony for the signing of the Interim Peace Agreement. But the GRP side backed out and offered Medialdea as the proxy of Duterte.

The NDFP has offered Hanoi as the alternative venue to facilitate the attendance pf Duterte. But the GRP side did not give a positive answer and the RNG special envoy cannot make any arrangement with Hanoi. Hanoi as a venue near the Philippines was proposed by NDFP in consideration of the heavy work sked of Duterte.###

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