Joma Sison’s influence over NDFP waning — WikiLeaks
September 4, 2011
Self-exiled communist leader Jose Ma. Sison seemed to have lost his influence over his group’s political arm, the Norwegian facilitator in the peace talks between the Philippine government and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines reportedly told US officials.
Vegar Brynildsen reportedly said the “failed agreement to restart formal talks between the Philippine government and [NDFP] demonstrated the ‘waning influence’ of Sison,” according to US Embassy Charge d’Affaires Leslie Basset in a secret Feb. 4, 2010 cable released by
online whistle-blower WikiLeaks.
Basset said Brynildsen was unsure who in the NDFP held ultimate policy-making authority.
Basset also said that in a meeting with embassy officials in Manila, Brynildsen disclosed that the NDFP leadership refused to abide by Sison’s commitment to formal talks.
“This development showed the Norwegians that Sison, who has been self-exiled in the Netherlands since 1987, is no longer ‘calling the shots’ for the communist side, but, rather, needs further approval from Philippine-based figures,” Basset said in the cable.
“Brynildsen said he found it a ‘real challenge’ to work as facilitator not knowing the inner workings of the NDFP and who held ultimate policy-making authority on the communist side,” Basset added.
The Norwegian envoy also reportedly told embassy officials that “he was not positively impressed with the quality of Philippine government intelligence on the NDFP.”
Talks between the Philippine government and the NDFP, which negotiates on behalf of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), have been intermittent and inconclusive since they began under the government of the late President Corazon Aquino in 1986.
Mrs. Aquino’s son, President Benigno Aquino III, has vowed to end the conflict with a political settlement before his term expires in 2016. — KBK, GMA News