CPP not closing doors on peace talks with Marcos Jr. admin

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 30) – The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is open to holding peace talks with the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) is always open to peace negotiations with the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) whoever is president. It was (former Pres. Rodrigo) Duterte who terminated the peace negotiations in 2017. But if the incoming Marcos administration is willing to talk, why not?” CPP founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison said during the launch of his new book on Tuesday.

Sison, however, noted the peace talks cannot resume as the national government is still implementing an “all-out war” policy against the communist group.

“Right now, there are no indications that Marcos would like peace talks. Resuming peace negotiations is quite easy by simply reaffirming the agreements that were previously agreed upon and signed by the two parties in the negotiations,” Sison added.

Sison recalled that it was during the regime of Marcos’ father and namesake, the late dictator who ruled the country for 21 years from 1965 to 1986, when the communist movement started to grow and continued to expand in the next administrations.

“Each of the post-Marcos regimes from Aquino to Duterte had the uniform objective of using the peace negotiations only for a few months and not for more than a year, as a means of lip service to the cause of peace, carrying out military surveillance, preserving the exploitative and oppressive ruling system and trying to maneuver the NDFP into a position of capitulation,” the CPP founder pointed out.

National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos earlier told CNN Philippines she expects peace talks with communist rebels will not push through under the new Marcos administration. 

Former President Rodrigo Duterte initiated peace talks with the communist group in the first year of his presidency, but terminated it in November 2017 for what he said was a “lack of accountability” from the rebels for the crimes they committed. 

The CPP was founded in 1968 and has been waging over five decades of insurgency in the countryside. The national government tagged Sison and 18 other CPP officials as “terrorists” in May 2021. 

READ: How peace talks with communist rebels failed