Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte said on May 16 (Monday) that he is considering offering cabinet positions to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) if they decide to end the longstanding conflict and cooperate with the national government.
The incoming President said that he can offer positions in the Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Labor and Employment, and Department of Social Welfare and Development to the leftist group.
“Marami pang iba but those are the only departments I can concede to them,” Presumptive President Duterte said.
(“There are many others but those are the only departments I can concede to them,” Presumptive President Duterte said.)
The day after the statement was issued, the Inquirer reached out to the self-exiled founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines Jose Maria Sison in which he said that the proposal will not come to pass until proper peace talks have been finalized.
“No official, member or expert of the CPP and NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) can join the Duterte Cabinet while the peace negotiations have not yet come to a happy and successful conclusion,” Sison said in the online interview conducted by Inquirer.
Sison added that the Communist leaders could ask for leaders who are “patriotic and progressive” and have “the competence and expertise needed, the honesty and diligence desired by the people to apply for positions in the Duterte Cabinet” who are outside of the CPP while peace talks are ongoing.
Sison said that this is the only way that the CPP will reciprocate the grand gesture shown by the incoming Duterte administration.
The incoming President also included in his press conference the proposal of granting general amnesty to all political prisoners. There are about 543 documented political prisoners, 18 of whom were NDFP consultants as documented by Human rights group Karapatan.
“If I am satisfied that we are dealing in good faith, I will consider releasing all political prisoners,” the Presumptive President said in his first press conference after the May 9 elections.