President Benigno Aquino 3rd will meet rebel leader Jose Maria Sison only after a peace agreement has been agreed upon by the government with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), a Palace official said on Saturday.
Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abigail Valte said President Aquino is willing to face the CPP-NPA-NDF leader just as he met with Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief Al Hadj Murad.
“The President has already said that it would be a good time for them to meet if there is already a peace agreement. It would be good if they will be talking to each other since there is already a peace agreement waiting to be signed. The President has not informed us of any changes in his tack,” Valte said.
She added that while the CPP-NPA-NDF had expressed desire to engage in peace talks with the government, it has yet to course such sentiment in a formal communication to the Aquino administration.
Valte explained that the government will not change its position not to free NPA leaders with criminal cases, a condition set by the CPP-NPA-NDF.
The government has earlier said that the condition that the CPP-NPA-NDF created, which is the issuance of the joint agreement on safety and immunity guarantees (Jasig) pass to their consultants, is something that the state cannot grant because there is no list of such consultants.
The last Jasig was forged by the two parties in 1995.