COMMMUNIST rebel leader Alfredo Mapano, also known as “Ka Paris,” is set to fly to Oslo, Norway next week to attend the formal peace talks between the government and the Maoist rebels.
Mapano was released out of the Misamis Oriental Provincial Jail Wednesday afternoon, August 17.
Since his incarceration in 2009, Mapano could finally taste temporary freedom and he is optimistic that the peace talks will bear fruit after years of being stalled.
Ka Paris spent seven years and 13 days inside Misamis Oriental Provincial Jail.
Mapano, who was ordered released by Judge Florencia Abbu of the Regional Trial Court branch 17 after paying the P100,000 bail, has been facing multiple counts of criminal charges including murder, robbery and frustrated murder.
Mapano said he doubted he could spend time with his family since he was expected to fly to Norway along with 20 other National Democratic Front (NDF) negotiators as soon as possible.
Mapano has been an NDF peace consultant since the time of the late President Corazon Aquino in 1986.
Ka Paris along with another political prisoner Pedro Codaste, still detained in Bukidnon, will represent as peace consultants in the resumption of the peace talks with the NDFP.
"I am happy with the warm welcome I am receiving. I feel that a lot of people love and sympathize my situation. It's also an honor to represent the region and attend the peace talks. I belong in two reciprocal committees and I thank them for the trust. I'll try my best to achieve their expectations," he said.
Ka Paris would want to find time to meet with his family and friends and probably go home if time will permit as he got an invite from the Archdiocese which he would prefer as it is safe there for him.
Chona Mapano, Ka Paris’ wife, said she is hopeful that sustainable and enduring peace could finally be achieved in the country.
"Actually, he would just be staying for two days very short lang kay adto na dayun sila sa Norway. Our family will sacrifice for the peace talks to succeed, we will. We are very thankful for our human rights lawyers and church for their support and effort," she said.
"He is seven years detained, but it feels like it's more than seven years. We look forward nga mauban gayud namo siya and be whole as a family," she added.
Ka Paris also met with Misamis Oriental Yevgeny Vincente "Bambi" Emano right after he was freed, for a courtesy call.
In a statement, Jose Maria Sison, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder, said he was grateful to the Duterte administration for allowing the peace talks to continue after decades of being suspended.
“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.
He maintained that he and the President remain good friends and that “our friendship has a strong basis in previous cooperation of long duration and in a common desire to serve the national and democratic rights and best interests of the Filipino people.”
In the course of the talks in Norway, Sison said he will be in constant contact with Duterte.
“We intend to perform our respective parts in order to make the talks successful and beneficial to our people,” he added.