Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison announced on Wednesday, May 11 that he is looking forward to meet presumptive president and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte before he assumes office in Malacañang.
In a video recording of Joma’s Skype conversation with Duterte, the presumptive president mentions plan to visit the CPP leader based in Utrecht, The Netherlands, in preparation for resuming peace talks.
“It is the hope that we can meet before his oath-taking as he promised during my Skype conference with him on April 25. He said he would come soon after [he is elected President],” Sison said in an online interview on Wednesday.
Sison mentions in the interview that he “expects to meet President Duterte soon in Europe, whether the meeting is preceded by, concurrent with or followed by preliminary meetings of the GPH (Government of the Philippines) and NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) negotiating panels.”
Sison also welcomed the declaration made by Peter Laviña, Duterte’s spokesperson, in an interview with Agence France-Presse on Tuesday as he announced that Duterte would allow Sison and other exiled communist leaders to return to the country for the resumption of the peace talks and to review the status of political prisoners.
“Of course, I am hoping for the release of all political prisoners. They have long been unjustly detained on false charges of common crimes by the Arroyo and Aquino regimes. Their release will be conducive to an immediate mutual ceasefire and cooperation and the accelerated negotiation of the comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms,” Sison said.
On his Facebook (FB) page on Wednesday, Sison also urged Duterte to order the arrest of President Aquino and Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad for they are “responsible for looting and unprecedented corruption” in connection with the alleged misuse of the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Sison also said that the communist rebels were open to the crafting of a new democratic Constitution and to Duterte’s proposal to study federalism as a form of government for the country.