Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison on Wednesday said he is not yet ready to end his exile in the Netherlands and come back home to the Philippines.
Sison, in an interview with ABS-CBN News Europe bureau chief Danny Buenafe, said he will return to the Philippines at the right time.
"Sa tamang okasyon, kapag may kuwan, level of success na mataas-taas, may significant agreement, why not?" he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he would allow Sison to return to the Philippines if rebels would stop collecting revolutionary taxes and release all state officers in their custody.
Duterte said he had asked Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza and chief government negotiator Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to inform Sison that he is free to go home, while laying down government's conditions.
"Dureza and Bello called me. Sabi ko (I said), you tell Sison because he's sick, very sick, you can come home, I'll give him freedom of movement. I will not arrest him. I'll even pay for the hospitalization kung gusto niya (if he wants)," Duterte said of his former college professor.
Sison told ABS-CBN News that he is thanking Duterte for his "good wishes".
"Pag sinabi niya walang problema, si Nur (Misuari) nakapunta sa Manila," he said.
"Time will come na mabuti kung magpunta ako sa Pilipinas. Of course, dumalaw pagkatapos ano, cast the negotiations progress further, then ano, It's to... homecoming," said Sison.
He added that his health is good. "Okay na, okay."
He was interviewed after government negotiators and communist rebels agreed on an interim joint ceasefire as the two panels pursue peace negotiations.
Government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF) representatives reached the agreement at the fourth round of talks held in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
Communist rebels have been waging protracted guerrilla warfare for nearly five decades in rural areas in the Philippines, killing more than 40,000 people. - with reports from Danny Buenafe, ABS-CBN News