Duterte might militarize peace panel after Dureza exit: Sison

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 28 2018 12:09 PM | Updated as of Nov 28 2018 12:31 PM

Watch more in iWant or TFC.tv

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte might soon militarize the office of his adviser on the peace process following the resignation of Jesus Dureza, the founding chairman Communist Party of the Philippines said Wednesday.

Dureza resigned from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process after Duterte dismissed Undersecretary Ronald Flores and Assistant Secretary Yeshton Donn Baccay for alleged corruption.

CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said it is possible Duterte would like the military to "take over" the OPAPP, beginning with the possible appointment of outgoing Armed Forces Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez. 

Galvez has said he wants to become a peace consultant at the OPAPP when he retires. He was chairman of the government's Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities before taking over as AFP chief of staff. 

Satur Ocampo, formerly an adviser for the side of the communist rebels' negotiating panel, said Duterte appointing a former military officer as Dureza's replacement would be bad for the prospects of the resumption of the talks.

Watch more in iWant or TFC.tv

"A peace negotiation where the military will have the last say is not going to result into an acceptable agreement," he told ANC's Headstart.

Sison said "there is something unbelievable" that corruption was the reason for the removal of the 2 officials that prompted Dureza's resignation.

"There is bigger corruption in the office of Duterte himself, the Office of the President. There's a lot of rackets involving especially the intelligence and discretionary funds," he said.

Still, Sison believes Dureza's exit from the OPAPP might not affect the possible revival of the peace talks, including the meeting between Cabinet officials and negotiators from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

"I don't know if the resignation will foul up any desire or intention of Duterte to resume the peace negotiations...From the viewpoint of the NDF, it is always ready to negotiate peace with the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines)," he said.