By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has raised the possibility of allowing communist leader Jose Maria Sison to take over the government but urged him to come home and talk peace first.
The President said he might agree with Sison, who has long wanted to overthrow the government, in the event the two sides return to the negotiating table.
“I don’t know if Sison is coming home. But what I can tell him now is that if you are trying to destroy a government and you want to take over, why don’t you come here and talk about it. Maybe I’ll agree with you. I’ll give the government to you,” Duterte during the inauguration of Vista Mall in Iloilo City last Wednesday night.
“But sabi ko umuwi ka muna dito [But I said, come home first] and I promise you security and safety as a personal and official commitment,” he added.
The President earlier decided to reset the peace talks with the communist rebels to give way to public consultations on the matter. It was later revealed that the government wanted a three-month review of the previous agreements with the communists before jumpstarting the formal talks.
During his remarks in Iloilo City, the President reiterated that he has offered a 60-day timeframe for the two sides to hammer out a peace agreement in the country.
If the talks fail, Duterte said he would ensure the safe travel of Sison out of the country.
“Do not be offended because it is all from the heart. If nothing happens to the talks, the 60 days window that I imposed on us, then please do not ever, ever come back to this country again,” he said.