MANILA, MARCH 1, 2012 (STANDARD) by Florante S. Solmerin – AT LEAST four members of President BenignoAquino III’s Cabinet are negotiating to convince Jose Maria Sison, the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, to join the Aquino administration for national unification, the spokesman of an anti-communist group said Wednesday.
“You know, if you received our previous press releases, in fact we mentioned about several people in Malacañang, particularly Ronald Llamas, Jing Deles and Alex Padilla,” said Joey Sison, spokesman of the Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy that’s being led by Rep. Pastor Alcover, a former rebel.
Llamas on Wednesday denied the group’s claim.
“There is no specific negotiation to bring back Joma [Sison],” he said. “The talks are toward a possible political settlement.”
[PHOTO – President Benigno Aquino sharing light moments with his political adviser, Ronald Llamas, in this file photo in Malacañang. EDWIN BACASMAS/INQUIRER]
Llamas is Mr. Aquino’s political adviser and Teresita Quintos-Deles is head of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.
Padilla is the government’s chief negotiator in its peace talks with the communist National Democratic Front, the group negotiating for the Communist Party of the Philippines and its military arm, the New People’s Army.
A highly placed Palace source said the Aquino administration was indeed in talks with the CPP for Joma’s return from exile in Utretch.
But intelligence reports had it that Joma managed to slip in through the Clark International Airport onboard a Hongkong flight last January 20 using the alias “Renato Malaya” on his travel document.
Malacanang and military officials denied the report but that sent spies from both government and left-leaning groups searching for Joma in Clark and Iloilo, where he was said to have been in hiding since he arrived.
A source confirmed that Llamas was among those involved in the talks, but denied that the government was dangling a Cabinet post for Joma as part of a unification process.
Padilla said the administration had already rejected the communists’ 10-point proposal of which one was an alliance with the state.
“There are several people [whose names] we don’t want to reveal yet because we are checking their connections with the CPP,” Sison, the party-list group spokesman said.
He said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima could be one of those negotiating with Joma.
“She’s is the first cousin of Julie de Lima,” Sison said, adding that Julie is Joma’s wife. His group claims that the Aquino administration is offering Joma a Cabinet position.
“We’re saying that because, you know, if we look back to the case of the Morong 43, the withdrawal of the case against [the suspected communists] was ordered by De Lima,” Sison said.
Still, it was President Aquino who ordered the Justice Department to review the case of the 43, who were later released from prison.
Police and soldiers arrested the suspects at a farmhouse in Morong, Rizal, in February 2010 on suspicion they were communist rebels attending a bomb-making seminar. The suspects denied it.
Sison also cited the case of Maria Luisa Porcray, Jaime Soledad and Jovencio Balweg, who were facing criminal charges but were later released after prosecutors withdrew their charges against them. The communists claimed that the three were their peace consultants and therefore could not be arrested.
“We believe that the Justice Department was behind the withdrawal of the charges against them,” Sison said.
He said the same thing could happened to the case of Alan Jazmines and Tirzo Alcantara, two ranking CPP leaders who are now detained in Camp Crame and in the Army’s headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.
Sison said Joma could be somewhere in the Philippines.
“Yes, with all probability because the audio was very clear like a local one,” he said, citing a radio interview of Joma who denied he was here. With Joyce Pangco Pañares
FROM THE DAILY GUARDIAN, WESTERN VISAYAS PHILIPPINES
Joma Sison in Iloilo? Not true, says Army By: Tara Yap
THERE IS no truth to the news that Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison has arrived in the country and is in Iloilo.
“Apparently, Joma was interviewed by DZRH while in the Netherlands,” said Maj. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr., commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID).
Reports from national newspapers Business Mirror and Manila Standard Today cited an anonymous military intelligence officer claiming that Sison, who sought asylum in the Netherlands, arrived in the country last January and is being coddled by politicians in Iloilo.
It also quoted the military officer saying Sison arrived in Iloilo onboard a plane from Hong Kong. However, the new Iloilo Airport has no international flights.
Capt. Reylan Java, 3ID spokesman, disclosed that no information has reached its intelligence unit.
There was also no confirmation from the Military Intelligence Group (MIG) of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP).
“It would be impossible for the military not to know given it involves a high-profiled personality,” Java emphasized.
Java also said that this may be another case of unreliable information from an unreliable source.
Java cited the incident last September 2011 when there were reports on the alleged presence of a special unit of the New People’s Army (NPA), the CPP’s armed group, in Iloilo City.
S/Supt. Marietto Valerio, city police director, claimed that a special partisan unit (SPARU) was targeting politicians and businessmen.
“It later turned out the information was from a retired military officer,” Java said.
Sison serves as the chief consultant of the National Democratic Front (NDF), the negotiating group of the CPP-NPA.
The government peacetalks with the CPP-NPA-NDF came to a halt last February 2011. NDF accused the government of violating the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) by detaining NDF members who are said to be peace consultants.