Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | Cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains which may trigger flashfloods & landslides will be experienced over Ilocos region and the provinces of Batanes, Benguet, Zambales, Bataan & the islands of Babuyan.| PHL down 1 spot in 2019 World Press Freedom Index | Easter blasts at Sri Lanka | Capesize Ships in Pain as Chinese Iron Ore Imports Drop | ‘Miss Saigon’ actor Gerald Santos balik-Pilipinas na | Warriors score big win again | 1 USD = 52.04 PhP as of closing Apr 22, 2019|
TOP STORIES >> Philippine News
Peace panel to talk with Reds not loyal to Joma Sison
Photo Gallery
Peace panel to talk with Reds not loyal to Joma Sison

MANILA, Philippines, April 16 ------ The government panel to be formed to resume talks with communists would not negotiate with rebel leader and President Duterte’s critic Jose Maria Sison and his followers, Malacañang said yesterday.  Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo belittled Sison’s influence in the communist movement, saying the rebel leader no longer has control over the Maoist forces on the ground.  “It doesn’t matter whether (Sison) likes (it) or not,” he said when asked about Sison’s opposition to Duterte’s plan to create a new negotiating team.  “(We will talk to) those who are not listening to him. We feel he is no longer being listened to,” Panelo added.

Asked whether he thought Sison no longer has influence over members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), Panelo replied: “From the way the ground forces are doing their thing, it appears to me that way.” Panelo said the localized peace talks would continue even if the President forms a new panel.  Duterte scrapped the talks with communists after its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA) launched successive attacks against civilians and government forces.

The President has also accused the communists of pushing for a coalition government, a setup that he said would violate the Constitution.  Last Saturday, Duterte said he may create a new panel to negotiate with communists almost a month after he declared the permanent termination of the talks. The President said the negotiating panel would be composed of at least two civilians and three military officers.

Sison rejected Duterte’s plan, saying the President was bent on forming a “war panel” because he wanted to increase the number of military representatives in the talks. The rebel leader also predicted that the new panel would demand the surrender of NPA members. Asked to react to Sison’s war panel claim, Panelo said: “We will ignore him.”

Source: philstar.com