By Barbara Mae Dacanay
05 March 2012
President Benigno Aquino was criticized for luring Philippine communist party’s founder Jose Maria Sison to stop living in exile, return home from the Netherlands, and run for a government office in 2013, a local paper said.
Manila President Benigno Aquino was criticized for luring Philippine communist party’s founder Jose Maria Sison to stop living in exile, return home from the Netherlands, and run for a government office in 2013, a local paper said.
“He (President Aquino) might be hallucinating. I wonder where he got such an idea,” former Congressman Satur Ocampo told Today.
Sison had never indicated any interest to join any government after the ouster of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, said Ocampo, adding that Sison never wanted to be part of the administration of five presidents who were elected after 1986.
Ocampo is president of Bayan Muna (Nation First), a sectoral party, which won seats at the House of Representatives since 2001. He was a founder of the communist National Democratic Front (NDF), the umbrella of the 43-year old Communist Party of the Philippines, its military arm, the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and several other progressive groups.
At the same time, Congresswoman Milagros Magsaysay asked Aquino to stop acting “like a spokesman” for Sison.
Like Aquino, Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations Rear Admiral Miguel Jose Rodriguez told Today that Sison’s return for elections would be “a good sign,” adding it could end NPA’s armed struggle in far-flung provinces.
Brig. Gen. Rolando Tenefrancia, head of the Armed Forces’ Civil Relations Service also supported Aquino’s call for Sison’s return for the 2013 elections.
Speculations on Sison’s whereabouts began when Congressman Pastor Alcover said that the former secretly returned to the Philippines to run for the 2013 elections.
Sison would be granted executive clemency for the criminal charges filed against him, claimed Alcover.
The Philippine government and the NDF have been holding on and off peace talks since 1992.
The NDF refused to return to the negotiating table in 2004, when the Philippine government allowed the United States and the European Union to include the CPP-NPA in the list of foreign terror groups.
Since then, the Philippine government and the NDF held informal peace talks. Both parties resumed formal peace talks after Aquino’s election in 2010.
Norway has been a peace broker between the Philippine government and the NDF.