Duterte to offer Cabinet post to Communist party founder

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Philippine CommunistsPhilippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte will offer a Cabinet post to the exiled founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Jose Maria Sison, and some of his followers, the Philippine Star reported.

They might be given the opportunity to fill posts in the Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Labour and Employment and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the report said.

“I have kept open [these departments] because they said they are the most oppressed. Those are the only departments I can concede to them [leftist groups], provided they are qualified educationally,” Duterte said at a press conference on May 16.

The Communist party has been involved in a decades-old conflict that has killed tens of thousands, and Sison led an armed rebellion against the state with the party’s armed wing New People’s Army. He left the Philippines and settled in the Netherlands after former President Corazon Aquino released him from prison in 1986 shortly after a popular uprising toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Since August 2002, he has been classified as a “person supporting terrorism” by the US. The European Union, however, later delisted him as a “person supporting terrorism” and reversed a decision by member governments to freeze assets.

Sison, who was Duterte’s former professor at a Manila university, has been invited to return to the Philippines by him.

Duterte said that Sison and Luis Jalandoni, chief negotiator of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, a coalition of left-wing political organisations, would both play key roles in peace talks to end the long-lasting rebellion. He also announced plans to release all political prisoners as part of his efforts to build goodwill.

However, a decision whether the appointments will be actually made is left to the next Congress, some members of which will compose the Commission on Appointments that can approve or disapprove appointments made by the president.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte will offer a Cabinet post to the exiled founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Jose Maria Sison, and some of his followers, the Philippine Star reported.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Philippine CommunistsPhilippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte will offer a Cabinet post to the exiled founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Jose Maria Sison, and some of his followers, the Philippine Star reported.

They might be given the opportunity to fill posts in the Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Labour and Employment and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the report said.

“I have kept open [these departments] because they said they are the most oppressed. Those are the only departments I can concede to them [leftist groups], provided they are qualified educationally,” Duterte said at a press conference on May 16.

The Communist party has been involved in a decades-old conflict that has killed tens of thousands, and Sison led an armed rebellion against the state with the party’s armed wing New People’s Army. He left the Philippines and settled in the Netherlands after former President Corazon Aquino released him from prison in 1986 shortly after a popular uprising toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Since August 2002, he has been classified as a “person supporting terrorism” by the US. The European Union, however, later delisted him as a “person supporting terrorism” and reversed a decision by member governments to freeze assets.

Sison, who was Duterte’s former professor at a Manila university, has been invited to return to the Philippines by him.

Duterte said that Sison and Luis Jalandoni, chief negotiator of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, a coalition of left-wing political organisations, would both play key roles in peace talks to end the long-lasting rebellion. He also announced plans to release all political prisoners as part of his efforts to build goodwill.

However, a decision whether the appointments will be actually made is left to the next Congress, some members of which will compose the Commission on Appointments that can approve or disapprove appointments made by the president.

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