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Joma Sison puts off homecoming after peace talks hitch

National Democratic Front of the Philippines chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison on Wednesday said that he would postpone his return to the country after President Rodrigo Duterte decided to cancel the start of the peace talks this month.

The Communist Party of the Philippines founder said that he could not return in August as the chief executive had "upset the work schedule of the panels" by canceling the resumption of formal talks in Oslo, Norway from June 28 to 30.

"I will not return to the Philippines earlier than the completion and signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms by the negotiating panels in a foreign neutral venue," Sison said.

"If Duterte continues to prevent the peace negotiations, I can also postpone my return until the Filipino people succeed in ousting the tyrant Duterte from power," he added.

The communist leader is now eyeing to return to the Philippines in September or October of this year.



Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza earlier announced that the formal resumption of peace talks will not proceed on June 28, saying that it is more important to get the support of the people in the process of finalizing a peace deal with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front.

Dureza said it was the President himself who issued the instruction for government negotiators.

In calling off the talks, Duterte said that he needed more time and more consultations before resuming the talks.

A stand-down agreement was signed on June 8 and was supposed to take effect on June 21, a week before the opening of formal talks. —NB, GMA News