BY SONNY MALLARI
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
August 10, 2015
The questions arise from an earlier statement made by Prof. Jose Maria Sison in response to news reports that he had conversed with Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. The statement runs as follows:
The GPH-NDFP peace negotiations are a way to address the roots of the armed conflict and make the social, economic and political agreements for a just and lasting peace. In this connection, I appreciate the desire of Mayor Duterte to end the armed conflict as soon as possible, even before he runs for president.
But the peace process is two-sided. Aquino and Deles are still in control of the GPH side. Unlike Mayor Duterte, they are not eager to have any kind of ceasefire or truce on some substantive basis that is satisfactory and beneficial to the people.
I presume that if and when he becomes president my esteemed friend and former student Rodrigo Duterte will retain his desire to end the armed conflict, accelerate the peace process and give way to a just and lasting peace.
Sonny Mallari: Ka Joma, you describe Duterte as an “esteemed friend and former student”. Could you please elaborate? What year mo siya naging student sa UP?
Joma Sison: I describe Mayor Duterte as an esteemed friend because he has been cooperative with the NDFP in several instances of the safe and orderly release of prisoners of war in the custody of the NPA. He has kindly spoken of me as his teacher. He was a student of mine, possibly in the years of 1959 to 1968, when I was 20 to 29 years old. I taught so many students during that period. I had large classes in the Rizal course and political science.
Sonny Mallari: It seems that your statement is a tacit endorsement of Duterte as presidential candidate. How about the others? Binay, Poe, Roxas?
Joma Sison: The main purpose of my statement is to gently tell Mayor Duterte that I am not the sole key to the end of the armed conflict between the forces of the GPH and NDFP. There are two well-organized sides in the armed conflict. The civil war is a two-sided phenomenon. And the peace process to settle it is also two sided.
It is the Aquino regime that is blocking the way to a just and lasting peace through peace negotiations and comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms. It keeps on violating existing agreements by wantonly killing suspected revolutionaries, collecting hundreds of political prisoners, preconditioning the peace negotiations with disrespect for and noncompliance with said agreements and arrogantly demanding the surrender of the revolutionary movement.
My statement reminds Mayor Duterte that Aquino and Deles are the obstruction to a just peace and that hypothetically he could end such obstruction if he would win the election. The assumption for the sake of argument does not mean an endorsement of his candidacy and a rejection of Binay, Poe and Roxas. I am in fact reminding Mayor Duterte that he should not sound like Aquino and Deles by demanding the surrender of the NPA even before his becoming president.
The people, including me, can evaluate the presidential candidates only after they present their comprehensive programs concerning the people’s demands for full national independence, empowerment of the working people, social justice, economic development through genuine land reform and national industrialization, free education and a patriotic and progressive culture.###