Joma Sison's refusal for a meeting with Duterte in PH proof of insincerity - Palace
Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison's rejection for a one-on-one meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines shows his "insincerity," Malacanang said on Friday.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte himself guarantees that Sison would not be arrested upon his arrival in the Philippines and he could freely leave for the Netherlands when he so desires after the meeting.
However, Panelo said, "His (Sison's) refusal to have a personal dialogue with his former student in the Philippines betrays his insincerity."
Before the peace process was terminated between the Philippine government and the CPP-New People's Army-National Democratic Front in 2017, Duterte had high regard to Sison, who was once his professor.
Sison, who is self-exiled in the Netherlands, in a statement on Thursday, thanked Duterte for his offer to meet him one-on-one.
But he said it would be "premature" for him to go to the Philippines before the mutual approval of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms ( CASER).
Sison wanted the government and the NDF negotiating panels to work CASER first in a neutral venue abroad.
But Sison expressed his willingness to meet with Duterte in "a country near the Philippines" after the formal resumption of the peace negotiations and the mutual approval of the Interim Peace Agreement, provided the Norwegian government as third party facilitator helps in securing the necessary political, legal and security guarantees from number of pertinent countries.
"I would be putting the prospect of peace negotiations at risk if I make myself available for any kind of attack by officers of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PNP (Philippine National Police) who think that they can end the revolutionary movement by getting rid of me and who are increasingly disobedient to President Duterte and continue to make offensive movements despite the current ceasefire ordered by the CPP to the NPA," Sison said.
Panelo, meanwhile, said the communist rebels have violated their own declared unilateral ceasefire.
He was apparently referring to the encounters in Camarines Norte and Iloilo on December 23, the first day of the implementation of the respective truces by the government forces and the NPA. A soldier was killed in the clashes while several others were wounded.
Panelo also hit Sison for hallucinating following his remarks to his cadres on the occasion of the CPP anniversary recently.
Sison said the Duterte regime "goes downhill as revolutionary movement rises."
Panelo said this was a "proof of his (Sison's) hallucination."
"It is his movement that is on downhill while the Duterte presidency keeps on rising and the surge in his popularity and trust rating is a resounding proof," he said.
The Maoist group has been fighting the Philippine government for over five decades. Celerina Monte/DMS