Return to PH if you want to help, Palace urges Joma

MANILA — Malacañang on Monday urged self-exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison to come back and help the government’s efforts to build comfortable life for the Filipinos.

“Stop talking. If you really want to help our countrymen, you return here and be part of building a comfortable nation for the Filipino people,” Roque said in a press briefing in Maasin City, Leyte.

Roque said Sison should accept the invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte to conduct peace negotiations in the Philippines and not in other countries.

“It is not the government’s fault that peace talks did not push through. It was Joma who backed out. We are Filipinos. What the President had said, let’s talk peace here,” Roque said.

He said Sison should not worry of his safety since Duterte has assured him that he will not be detained in the country.

“But Joma Sison is really boastful. He thinks he is the savior of the country. He said he will oust the President, the term will not be finished,” Roque said.

“Joma Sison, wake up. You’re dreaming. You cannot oust a government while you are in Europe. You come back and live here in the Philippines so that you will see the condition here. Our economy is in very good condition,” he added.

Roque said while poverty still remains a problem in the country, “many” have been lifted out of poverty.

“Because you live a comfortable life there in other country, you don’t know already what the situation here in the Philippines is,” Roque said.

Sison went into exile in the Netherlands after former president Ferdinand Marcos’ two-decade regime ended following a bloodless People’s Power Revolution in 1986.

Last week, Sison has reportedly said that the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) will no longer negotiate with the Duterte administration and would instead join forces to topple the government.

Duterte has belittled Sison’s threat, saying he finds no problem “if they are not willing to talk to me”.

The President, however, said he would continue to reach out to the enemies of the states, including the Moro rebels in Mindanao, to bring genuine peace in the country.