Duterte-CPP talks under way — Joma

With the incoming administration’s avid commitment on negotiating with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its founding leader Jose Maria Sison has confirmed that preliminary talks between their negotiating arm, the National Democratic Front (NDF), and the representatives of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte are set to roll next week.
Sison, in a statement, said that representatives of the NDF will meet in advance with Malacañang’s representatives in Oslo, Switzerland.
“We are now preparing for the preliminary talks in Oslo next week to agree on the agenda for the resumption of peace talks in July,” Sison said.
The 77-year-old communist leader who’s in a 20-year exile in The Netherlands also validated that they are “ready to agree on the drafts of important documents for finalization and signing by the negotiating panels and for approval by the principals in July.”
Although not making a common statement, it is apparent that both Duterte and his former university professor Sison are ready to end the nearly 50 years of armed insurgency in the Philippines, even the longest in Asian history.
“There should never be any problem in the peace process that we cannot discuss and fix promptly, directly or through our emissaries,” Sison said.
“We have the necessary degree of rapport to exchange views and come to an agreement quickly in order to bring the peace process to a successful and happy conclusion,” he added.
The new government that will primarily be represented by veteran negotiators with the reds incoming peace process adviser Jess Dureza and incoming Labor Secretary Silvester ‘Bebot’ Bello III.
Dureza has also confirmed yesterday, at a press conference in Davao, that they are preparing the government’s agenda to be presented in Oslo.
“We already have the magic formula to end this protracted struggle and hopefully these will lead to pacts that would benefit both parties,” Dureza said.
Duterte has previously noted that he might ask Dureza and Bello to accompany Sison home.
The CPP founder has already announced that he might return back to the Philippines after a 20 year exile by July or August this year after Duterte’s guarantee that he’d be issued a safe conduct pass.
Duterte has already announced that he’s giving in to the release of 543 political detainees who are suspected to be communist allies and officials including alleged CPP chairmen Benito Tiamzon and Adelberto Silva.
Meanwhile, outgoing Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas said it will be up to the new administration to work out the details of the possible return of Sison.
Speaking to newsmen, Caparas said he “would not know for a fact” if there is a subsisting safe conduct pass for Sison, 77, to return to the Philippines.
“I know that there is going to be a team coming from the Philippines I believe they are leaving next  week and they are supposed to meet with Joma in Oslo, Norway I believe, this is one of the items that will be discussed at those meetings and whether or not the decision is made for Mr. Sison to come back will depend on what is discussed at the table. If the question is am I privy to that, I am sorry but I have no information,” Caparas said.
“I  would imagine there is enough leeway for President Duterte at that point to set up some mechanism so that Mr. Sison can comeback safely,” he added.
Since August 2002, Sison has been classified as a “person supporting terrorism” by the United States.

Source: Tribune