Joma Sison: Phone chat with Duterte on peace deal ‘productive’

[] Jose Maria Sison, chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, had a phone conversation with President Duterte on Monday.
Sison confirmed in an online (Facebook) post that he discussed with Duterte several issues regarding the ongoing peace negotiations.

“I had a friendly and productive phone conversation with President Duterte about advancing the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations at around 7 p.m. last night Utrecht time,” Sison said.

Sison, who is also the founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines, said the unilateral ceasefire declarations will be respected during the holidays.

“The unilateral ceasefire declarations of the GRP and NDFP will stand during the Christmas and New Year holidays,” Sison said.
Both parties had a tradition of declaring short ceasefire declarations during the holidays in the past.

Meanwhile, Sison hinted that no bilateral ceasefire agreement will be signed this year explaining that this will be discussed in the third round of talks in January.

“Bilateral ceasefire agreement and the amnesty and release of the political prisoners listed by the NDFP can be discussed and agreed upon before, during and even after the third round of formal talks in Rome from January 18 to 24,” Sison said.

The NDFP is asserting that the immediate release of at least 434 political prisoners is needed as a compliance of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

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