THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison thanked President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday for facilitating the release of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultants who will participate in the resumption of peace talks with the government.
In a statement, Sison acknowledged the President's decision to temporarily set free the jailed NDFP consultants protected by the Joint Agreement and Safety Immunity Guarantees.
"Once more, I am grateful to President Duterte for his acts of goodwill to move forward the peace negotiations between his government and the NDFP," Sison said in a statement.
The President had vowed to come up with a peace agreement with the communist leaders to end the decades-long insurgency in Mindanao.
The CPP, along with its armed wing New People's Army (NPA), is waging Asia's longest running insurgency. The NDF is the political umbrella of the CPP and NPA.
Despite the sharp exchanges between Duterte and Sison after the former lifted the unilateral ceasefire with the communist groups, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said the President is committed to "walk the extra mile for peace."
Duterte had already instructed the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, and the Department of Foreign Affairs to assist the NDF consultants who will be travelling to Oslo, Norway for the peace negotiations to be held on August 22.
Earlier, the Supreme Court allowed NDFP consultant Satur Ocampo and members Randall Echanis and Vicente Ladlad to attend the peace talks.
The high court's decision was followed by the release on bail of CPP chairman Benito Tiamzon, CPP finance chief Wilma Tiamzon, and rebel leader Adelberto Silva.
Despite the misunderstanding, Sison said he and Duterte remained good friends.
"Our friendship has a strong basis in longstanding cooperation and in a common desire to serve the national and democratic rights and best interests of the Filipino people," Sison said.
Sison added that the CPP-NPA-NDF would coordinate with the government to achieve the long-lasting peace.
"During the formal talks in Oslo, President Duterte and I shall be in touch with each other. We intend to perform our respective parts in order to make the talks successful and beneficial to our people," he said. (Sunnex)