EXCLUSIVE: Joma says peace talks in Manila ‘will be a big problem,’ denies coming back to PH

Marje Pelayo   •   June 21, 2018   •   3673

CPP Founder and NDFP Chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison

 

UTRECHT, The Netherlands – Communist leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison said he is amenable to President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to resume peace talks between the Philippine government (GPH) and his group in pursuit of lasting peace in the country.

However, the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is adamant that he will not come back to the Philippines for the talks, contrary to reports that he has agreed to return to the country sometime in August this year.

“Kung maaantala ang peace negotiations ng one, two or three months, hindi problema. Pero malaking problema kapag pilitin ni Duterte na sa Manila ang venue,” Sison said in an exclusive interview with UNTV News in Utrecht, The Netherlands on Wednesday, June 20.

Sison insists that peace talks should be done on a neutral ground with the presence of a third party facilitator as stated in The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

He admitted that he is fed up with the peace deal being shuttled back and forth. Still, he said, the communist group tries to understand all the reasons given by  the GPH peace panel for the series of cancellations.

“Kahit na disappointing and frustrating iyong pag kansela, kung postponement lamang ang gusto ng gobyerno ni Duterte at sa neutral venue pa rin gagawin ang peacetalks at ang Royal Norweigan Government pa rin ang third party facilitator, ay walang problema,” he explained.

Sison claims Duterte seems to be unaware of the actions of the government negotiating panel. It would explain, he said, why the President had been flip-flopping on whether or not to resume the peace deal.

“Lalo na ang principal mukhang hindi niya nasusundan ang ginagawa ng mga kinatawan niya. Pero sabi naman ng mga kinatawan niya, wala silang sinasabi at kinikilos na hindi aprubado ng principal nila,” Sison said referring to Duterte and the GPH negotiators.

Despite the uncertainties, the self-exiled leader remains positive that time will come that the two parties will resolve differences and finally end the country’s decade-long communist insurgency. — Cynthia Teruel / Marje Pelayo

Duterte summons BI personnel allegedly involved in pastillas controversy

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 10, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (November 10) summoned to Malacañang the forty-four Bureau of Immigration (BI) personnel allegedly involved in the ‘pastillas’ controversy.

According to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Duterte handed each of the BI personnel peso bills that were wrapped to look like pastillas. The said personnel were suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) due to their alleged involvement in the ‘pastillas scheme’.

“He wanted them to eat the pastillas, but did not insist ‘out of deference to the secretary of justice who was also present’. He said, either you eat it or give it to the first beggar you see,” Guevarra said in a statement.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the stunt was to reiterate the President does not tolerate corruption.

Nagsabi rin po ang president na dapat matigil na ang korupsyon, at nagsabi rin ang president na kayo’y nakasuhan na, depensahan ninyo ang sarili ninyo (The President also said that corruption should be curbed and he also said you will face charges. Defend yourself),” he said.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said the passage of the Immigration Act will help curb corruption in the agency. The act aims to respond to the concerns of Immigration personnel with regard to salary.

“The new law, which is already in Congress, will answer salary woes, remove systemic issues, plug loopholes in policies, update fines and penalties, ensure division of power, and confer to the Commissioner the proper disciplinary powers,” the statement reads. -AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Año submits shortlist of PNP chief candidates to Duterte

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 4, 2020

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año has submitted a list of Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief candidates to President Rodrigo Duterte.

With the retirement date of PNP Chief PGen. Camilo Cascolan on November 10, Año submitted a list of three top senior PNP officials which can be possible candidates for PNP Chief.

Nakapag-submit na ako ng shortlist (I already submitted a shortlist) to PRRD through a NAPOLCOM (National Police Commission) resolution. Three senior PNP officials, but I cannot mention the names and ranks.

Meanwhile, Cascolan did not receive an advisory if his term as the PNP Chief will be extended.

“I have yet to talk with the good President,” he said.

Cascolan also said he has not submitted his own recommendation for the new PNP Chief. Cascolan was appointed as the PNP Chief last September 2, after the retirement of PGen. Archie Gamboa.

Based on the Republic Act 6975, the President can choose among the ranks of One Star or Brigadier General above to become the next PNP Chief. -AAC

Duterte urges Congress to expedite creation of agency concerning OFWs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to expedite the creation of a new agency that will cater to the welfare of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“So I proposed in the coming months, and I hope to come up with a Department of Overseas Workers,” he said.

Duterte said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has so much burden to focus on OFWs.

The President also said the new agency will address the persistent woes encountered by OFWs. There is also a proposal to create another agency for seafarers.

“So iyan ang ano ko sa mga kababayan ko na naghihirap sa labas, (So that is what I can provide for our fellowmen abroad) that there will be a more thorough review in policies for your protection and that somebody should look after you,” he said.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go in 2019 filed Senate Bill 202, or the Department of Overseas Filipinos Act of 2019 in support of President Duterte’s advocacy. AAC

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