NEWLY appointed peace negotiator Jesus Dureza flew to Paris Saturday, June 10 enroute to Oslo, NOrway to meet with exiled communist leader Jose Ma. Sison.
Dureza confirmed this in a Facebook post a few hours ago.
The meeting will be the initial step in the planned resumption of talks with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
“I am flying tonight to Paris enroute to Oslo, Norway for an informal meeting with the CPP/NPA/NDF headed by Mr. Jose Ma. Sison upon instructions from Pres-elect Rodrigo Duterte to work for the early resumption of the stalled peace negotiations,” the post read.
Dureza, a veteran in peace negotiations, is accompanied by Silvestre Bello III, another veteran in the peace process. Bello is the incoming labor secretary.
Former congressman Hernani Braganza also joined them.
“We look forward to a fruitful meeting under the auspices of the Norwegian government in the sidelines of the ‘Oslo Forum’,” he said.
Dureza, meanwhile, also corrected a report that came out “in some media outlets” that bannered a story that he is ‘open’ to negotiations with the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
“True, I have even directly negotiated with the ASG just recently to seek the release of my friend John Ridsdel whom they nevertheless beheaded as the families could not raise the demanded ransom amount,” he said.
“But negotiations with them in the context of what we are doing with the Bangsamoro and the CPP/NPA/NDF is definitely not the way forward. They have to face the full force of the law for their terrorism and criminal acts,” Dureza said.