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Holding peace talks in PHL an ‘unacceptable’ precondition – Joma

Though open to resuming peace talks with the government, Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison on Saturday rejected the idea of resuming negotiations in the Philippines, saying it was "totally unacceptable."

"This precondition is totally unacceptable to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) because it aims to put the NDFP and the entire peace negotiations in the pocket of the Duterte regime," Sison said in a Facebook post.

Months after he terminated the peace negotiations, President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday ordered Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to communicate with Sison in the Netherlands. 

However, Sison pointed out that the "Duterte regime has in fact killed the GRP-NDFP negotiations since 2017 by issuing Proclamation No.360 to terminate said negotiations."

According to Sison, the purpose of informal talks was to "settle first the issues that prevent the formal resumption of the peace negotiation" as well as "to take advantage of the progress and level of agreement of previous negotiations regarding the amnesty and release of political prisoners."

Sison also slammed National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. for "declaring that [NDFP] has no choice but to accept the resumption of peace negotiations in the Philippines."

Esperon on Friday refused to divulge the conditions the Philippine government had set in order for peace talks to resume.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Saturday expressed their support for the president's decision. — Joahna Lei Casilao/DVM, GMA News