- A delegation from the NDF arrived in Davao City to discuss with Duterte the framework for the resumption of peace talks
- Joma Sison planned to return to the Philippines to take part in the peace talks
- Duterte may consider releasing political prisoners as part of confidence-building
The National Democratic Front, the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), dispatched an advance delegation to Davao City to prepare to discuss with Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte the groundwork for the resumption of peace talks between the government and the CPP.
Duterte, the longtime mayor of Davao City who won a landslide victory in the recently concluded elections, announced on Monday, May 16, he would give four cabinet positions to the CPP, including responsibility for an agency tasked with allocating land to poor farmer, if they decide to work with his government.
Philstar’s Patricia Lourdes Viray mentioned in her article dated May 16, 2016 that the incoming president said he is willing to concede the Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Labor and Employment, and Department of Social Welfare and Development to the leftist group.
He said he was giving the labor portfolio to the CPP because “they are the most vigilant group in the Philippines about labor.”
Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, founder of the CPP who is in self-exile in the Netherlands for almost three decades and a former University professor of Duterte in the 1960’s, was offered a cabinet position by Duterte but he declined. The CPP founder is mulling to end his self-exile to take part in the peace talks.
Duterte welcomed Sison’s plan to return to the country.
“I am happy with the statement that he is coming home. I would very much want to talk to him about resolving the insurgency problem,” Duterte said.
“If we begin the talks and I’m satisfied that we are dealing in good faith, I will call a truce and maybe consider releasing all political prisoners as part of confidence-building,” he added.