ROME, Italy — The Government of the Philippines (GRP) will recommend the delisting of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria “Joma” Sison from the United States’ list of international terrorists to pave the way for his Philippine homecoming without being arrested.
This was one of the recommendations agreed upon by the GRP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) panels during meeting on the fourth day of the peace negotiations on Tuesday afternoon, January 24, here in Italy.
Sison is the chief political consultant NDFP, the political umbrella of the CPP-NPA.
GRP chief negotiator Secretary Silvestre Bello III also said the de-listing of the CPP from the US list of international terrorist organizations would put into fruition the commitment of Sison to President Rodrigo Duterte to return to the Philippines as part of the ongoing peace negotiations.
President Duterte and Sison had earlier agreed to meet in any neutral Asian country once the latter is de-listed from the list of international terrorists.
The European Union has long ago stricken Sison from the terrorist list.
Bello said there is basis for the US to remove the CPP and the NPA from the list since the NDFP, which is their political umbrella, is now involved in peace negotiations with the Philippine government.
He said if the de-listing happens, Sison can join the panels in succeeding talks anywhere outside Europe.
“Baka ang talks sa Philippines na (Maybe the talks can be held in the Philippines) because we are trying to get support from the people,” Bello said.
The inclusion of the CPP-NDFP-NPA in the US terrorist list has become a stumbling block for the return of Sison to the Philippines.
The US, through its control of the International Police (Interpol), can always effect the arrest of Sison outside of EU. The EU itself is protective of the rights of people seeking political asylum in its member countries.
Sison has lived in exile in Utrecht, The Netherlands ever since his passport was cancelled by the Philippine government under President Corazon Aquino in 1987.
Bello said with a new US President in Donald Trump, it is possible Sison could be stricken from the list of personalities considered by the American government as terrorists.
Sison, together with a handful of young activists and members of the old communist party in the Philippines, re-established the Maoist-oriented CPP on December 26, 1968.
The following year, the CPP formed its armed wing.
The Philippine government is holding peace negotiations with the NDF to put and end to the 48-year guerrilla war in the country. OPAPP