By Mario Casayuran
The position of President Duterte that the peace talks with leaders of the communist movement be held in the Philippines and not in Norway ‘’makes a lot of sense,’’ Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Thursday.
‘’I have actually been asking myself for the longest time why we need a third country facilitator and venue to talk peace with our fellow Filipinos. For one, it entails more expenses, not to mention inconvenience,’’ Lacson, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, said.
Jose Ma. Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and who has been in exile in Europe since the mid-80s, had refused to go to the Philippines for the proposed resumption of the Philippine government-CPP/New Peoples Army(NPA)/National Democratic Front (NDF) peace talks.
Sison had been quoted as saying that he does not feel safe in the Philippines.
‘’Those who are in self-exile may only need a safe conduct passage from the government to move freely and safely during the whole duration of the peace talks,’’ Lacson, chairman of the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee, explained.
‘’I don’t think their self-proclaimed “belligerency status” will suffer or get affected if we do not involve a third, neutral party or country,’’ he added.
‘’Therefore, I fully support President Duterte in his assertion that we hold the peace talks with the CPP/NPA/NDF and other rebel groups right here in our country,’’ he added.