Peace talks revival pushed, Sison again assured of safety

“SANA naman maawa ang Diyos sa atin.”

President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday thus expressed hope for successful peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and reiterated his commitment to the safety of CPP founder Jose Maria Sison if ever he chooses to return to the Philippines.

In his speech during the 120th Independence Day celebration in Kawit, Cavite, Duterte reiterated his vow to talk with the “enemies” amid past setbacks in the negotiations.

“Sabi ko, I will talk with the enemies. That is why I’m talking with Sison. So everything has failed, but sabi ko we can talk, bumalik ka dito ako ang sasagot ng lahat ng gastusin,” he said.

He said he will provide for a 60-day “window” for the talks with the communists to resume.

“We will talk and we will give each other 60 days to agree or else if it fails it is a small window,” Duterte said. “So I’m inviting the Reds, sabi ko hinto muna tayo. Choose a camp where you can stay and I will contribute to your subsistence for 60 days.”

“Sana naman maawa ang Diyos sa atin,” he added.

The President also reiterated his assurance that nothing will happen to Sison, who is on self-exile in the Netherlands, even if the talks fail.

“This I can guarantee, kayong mga Left, if the talks will not succeed with the CPP, I will keep my word, word of honor, ihatid ko si Jose Maria Sison sa airport at ako mismo makita ko na umalis siya,” he said, referring to Sison’s return to the Netherlands.

Duterte, however, could not guarantee Sison’s return to the Philippines despite his invitation.

“As to his coming back that’s out of the question kasi may kaso. I’m willing to walk the extra mile to have peace in our land,” he said.

Duterte said if the talks with the communists prosper, his only problem will be the rebellion in Mindanao, which still depends on the result of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

“I hope it will pass,” he said of BBL.

“If it does not, then there’s gonna be another round of ruckus there, I hope it would not again result in a near revolution environment.”

Duterte said he is also talking with Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari. “I’m talking with Nur Misuari, sabi niya hintay lang ako kung ano ang mabuti pag-usapan namin,” he said.