Press Release
April 3, 2009


Sen Chiz Escudero asked the government yesterday to speak with the United States government and the European Union if both can temporarily remove the terrorist tag on Jose. Ma. Sison and the Communist Party of the Philippines so that peace talks can resume with the leftist rebels.

"By throwing a 'monkey wrench' to the process, the government is seemingly maintaining a hard-line stance and prolonging the impasse," the opposition senator said.

Escudero said leftist rebels could be convinced to return to the negotiating table after a Dutch court dropped murder charges against exiled CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison.

The case involved Sison as allegedly behind the killing of former New People's Army (NPA) comrades Romulo Kintanar and Antonio Tabora.

"The National Democratic Front (NDF) previously sought a halt to the 'persecution' of Mr. Sison," he recalled.

The NDF is the umbrella group of left-leaning organizations in the Philippines, while the NPA is its armed wing.

Talks between the two sides have been suspended since 2003.

Meanwhile, the opposition senator called on the authorities to resolve quickly the case of Edelina Jolloso-Jerus, the widow of a slain activist who was shot dead this week in Sorsogon.

"This crime may inflame passions in the Bicol region, especially now that the Philippine-US Balikatan exercises have just gotten underway," Escudero said.

"Let us give peace a chance and offer hope to the people that the longest-running communist insurgency in Asia that has sapped resources and affected so many lives can be resolved peacefully."

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