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Joma Sison welcomes Duterte's statement he's still open to peace talks

National Democratic Front of the Philippines chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison on Saturday said he welcomes the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that he is still open to having peace talks.

"Enemies need peace negotiations before they can become friends or partners for the sake of the Filipino people who desire social, economic and political reforms as basis for a just and lasting peace. Thus, I welcome the statement of Duterte that he is still open to peace negotiations even as there is still an exchange of hostile words in the mass media and exchange of bullets in the battlefield," Sison said in a statement posted on the NDFP website.

Sison, also founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines which is a member of the NDFP, said "it is the consistent policy of the NDFP to be open to peace negotiations with the Duterte regime despite the determination of the NDFP to seek the ouster of this regime."

"It is for the benefit of the people that the peace negotiations resume and stop the Duterte regime from proclaiming martial law nationwide, from calling off or rigging the May 2019 elections and from pursuing the scheme to impose a fascist dictatorship on the Filipino people via charter change for a bogus kind of federalism," Sison said.

The CPP founder said the NDFP "presumes that, when peace negotiations resume, the way is open to the forging of agreements on social, economic and political reforms that are desired and needed by the people."

Sison earlier said the NDFP will strengthen itself and cooperate with all possible allies "to isolate and oust the Duterte regime from power."

Malacanang on Thursday downplayed Sison's statement.

"He has been saying that. His is a failed rebellion," said presidential spokesperson and legal counsel Salvador Panelo.  —KG, GMA News