PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday that he had not conceded anything to communist rebels, even after his conversation with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison.
The President made the clarification following his phone call with Sison on Tuesday.
“I talked [to] Sison the other night. And so I hope the intelligence is listening very carefully because I might be once again intrigued that I conceded this, I conceded that. I do not concede anything of this republic,” Duterte said at the 81st anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines held in its headquarters in Quezon City.
“The Republic of the Philippines has its own powers and prerogative. None of it will be surrendered to the enemies of the state,” he added.
In a speech delivered at the Christmas party with Office of the President’s employees on Tuesday evening, Duterte said that during his conversation with Sison, they both agreed to push for a land reform.
The President said he had promised the CPP founding chairman to split the distribution of unclaimed land properties in the country between the government and the communist group.
“We have talked [about] so many things, I said, 'We all agreed with this. There’s a land reform, fine.’ There are still the lands that are still not owned by anyone. The Philippines is big. We can parcel [the lands],” Duterte said.
Duterte also said he and Sison had already talked about the possible release of political prisoners, once the government peace panel and its counterpart sign a bilateral ceasefire agreement.
In a Facebook post, Sison described his conversation with Duterte as “friendly and productive.” (Sunnex)