President Rodrigo Duterte, on Tuesday, June 19, insisted that peace talks should be in the Philippines despite exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison saying that talks would be doomed if they would be held in Manila.
“Why should I talk outside? I’m talking about our country, my country, their country and they want to take over, overthrow government. And why do we have to talk [about] the f***ing thing outside?” Duterte said at the 81st anniversary of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in Pasay City.
According to Sison, the peace negotiations would collapse if the president would dictate the venue of the resumption of the peace negotiations.
Talks were usually held in Norway, the third-party facilitator in the peace negotiations between the government and the communist rebels.
Criticizing the president’s choice of venue, Sison said that it would be easy for the government to conduct “surveillance and control” among communist rebels joining the talks.
Duterte, for his part, assured Sison that he would guarantee the safety of the exiled leader while he is in the Philippines.
“Bakit ako pupunta doon sa ibang lugar? Dito tayo. I guaranteed him safety and security for the duration of the talks. I gave him a small window. So let’s talk for 60 days,” he said.
“And in that period, you come home. I will pay for your expenses,” Duterte added.
If the talks fail however, Duterte said he would let Sison leave the Philippines but warned him to never come back to the country.
“If after the two-month period wala, I will see to it that you walk out of the Philippines safely. Pero sabihin ko sa ‘yo, do not ever, ever come back, ever,” he said.