Duterte assures Sison’s safety

Published May 30, 2018, 7:46 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos, Francis Wakefield, and Antonio Colina IV

President Duterte assured Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison yet again of his safety if he chooses to return and help achieve peace between communist rebels and the government.

In his speech during the change of command ceremony of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) at Malacañang Park, Duterte assured Sison that he will not suffer the same fate as the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1983 in case the renewed effort for the peace talks does not bear fruit.

(MANILA BULLETIN)
(MANILA BULLETIN)

“Sinabi ko nga, if it is unsuccessful, ihatid ko siya sa airport. Walang Aquino-style na patayan. Barilin ko sa likod, no (I said that if it is unsuccessful, I will accompany him to the airport. There will be no Aquino-like assassination. I will not shoot him at the back, no). It’s not my [style],” Duterte said Wednesday evening.

The President also said that Sison does not have to worry about his safety because he has no plans of killing his former teacher even if he is unsure about how Sison takes this development.

“I have provided a small window of 60 days. If you come home, do not worry about being killed. I will not do that. I am giving you my word, and it is my word. Mag-uwika, mag-usaptayo (Come home and we will talk) earnestly, sincerely,” he added.

Sison’s rejoinder

On Thursday, Sison issued a statement from The Netherlands welcoming the assurance given by Duterte.

He said it is better to have an assurance of safety from the President, so that they can hold a dialogue and agree on how they can serve the interest of the Filipinos, “especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants through the peace negotiations and cooperation under the principles of national sovereignty, democracy and social justice.”

Sison, at the same time, assured that he will return to the Philippines after the signing of The interim peace agreement, which is already being prepared for June, and the subsequent mutual approval of the comprehensive agreement on social and economic reforms by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic of the Philippines (NDFP) either in July or August.

No coalition gov’t

During his speech, Duterte reiterated that he cannot and will not allow a coalition government with the communist rebels. Duterte has claimed that one of the reasons he scrapped the peace talks November last year was the Reds wanted a coalition government.

“Come home and talk. As long as you do not ask a coalition government, because I cannot give, and I will not give, you can come home and talk to me and the others. And maybe in the fullness of God’s time, we can achieve peace in our land,” the President said.

Last month, Duterte said he ordered the resumption of the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) because it is his duty to ensure that the Philippines is a peaceful country.

 
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