Palace dares Sison: Go ahead, cancel your ceasefire: Sison had earlier demanded that if the government fails to order the suspension of military and police operations against the communist rebels, he will order the cancellation of the 16-day ceasefire.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the orders from the government were not forthcoming despite Sison’s threat.
“He threatens to cancel the ceasefire if these orders are not shown to the NDF (National Democratic Front) panel. These orders are not forthcoming,” he said Friday.
“Sison and his comrades can proceed with the cancellation of the ceasefire and the President will oblige them. In the first place, they have violated their own declared unilateral ceasefire. So there is not even logic in their threat,” he added.
President Duterte agreed to declare the 16-day nationwide unilateral and reciprocal ceasefire with the communists to build a conducive environment for the formal resumption of the peace talks which the President scrapped in November 2017, claiming “insincerity” on the part of the other party.
However, suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) launched attacks in Camarines Norte and Iloilo on December 23. The attacks claimed the life of one soldier and wounded eight others.
Panelo said President Duterte was giving the communists the chance to explain why they broke their own ceasefire on the first day of the truce.
The President also said that he wanted Sison to come home to the Philippines so the two of them can talk face-to-face before the resumption of the peace talks. Sison said he will only return to the country if there are developments in the peace talks.
Sison added that he would prefer to have the one-on-one talk with Duterte in any other Asian country to avoid “spoilers” or the people who supposedly want to derail the peace negotiations.
In his statement Friday, Panelo said Sison’s refusal to have a personal dialogue with Duterte shows his insincerity.
Panelo said Sison has no right to demand anything from President Duterte since they were the ones who wanted to have the ceasefire and the peace talks in the first place.
“He doesn’t have the right to demand from us. Pinagbibigyan na nga sila, eh, pinagbigyan sila kasi sila ang humihirit, hindi naman si Presidente, eh (The President already indulged them. They were the ones asking for this, not the President),” he said Friday.
“Dami silang pinapupunta kay Presidente na ituloy yung peace talks, nag lobby sila sa mga senador, Congress, o, kaya pinagbigyan sila ni Presidente (A lot of them were approaching the President to revive the peace talks. They even lobbied before senators and congressmen that’s why the President gave them this chance),” he added.
The Palace official suggested that the communist rebels may just be using the ceasefire to regroup.
“[It] looks like he’s just using this ceasefire and peace talks to reorganize and to strengthen their forces. Yun ang katotohanan diyan (That’s the truth there),” Panelo said.
Living in an illusion
Panelo said Sison is living in an illusory world when he said that the Duterte administration is now going downhill as the revolutionary movement is rising.
“[He] is really living in an illusory world he has created for himself. Mr. Sison must disengage himself from his fantasy before his illusions develop into something medically perilous,” he said.
“His remarks to his cadres on the occasion of the CPP anniversary entitled, “Duterte regime goes downhill as revolutionary movement rises,” is proof of his hallucination. It is his movement that is on the downhill while the Duterte presidency keeps on rising and the surge in his popularity and trust rating is a resounding proof,” he added.
Panelo said a growing number of communist rebels started to turn a new leaf in their lives as they chose to return to mainstream society.
“Many of them are realizing that their past struggles and sacrifices have led to nothing except the shedding of blood among and between Filipinos, family members being separated from each other, productive lives of young, ideal, and even brilliant minds wasted on the hills, and always on the run fighting a lost cause and abandoned even by those who advanced it,” Panelo said.
“The pontifications of the aging and ailing revolutionary are coming from a megalomaniac as aptly described by a serious student of political history. Such a pitiful and tragic ending of someone whose brilliance used to be revered by the youth of the seventies has since then been dulled, by failing to embrace the realities of world politics, and to accept the comatose state of a dying ideology,” he added.
Panelo said that even former allies of the rebel group were now distancing themselves from them. He added that the European Union has also vowed to stop releasing funds to the local communist fronts after their “money-making scams” were unmasked.
He likewise said Sison’s “comfortable and luxurious self-exile” in Europe has placed blinders, making him not see the changes in society initiated by President Duterte.
“Foreign financial organizations foresee the Philippines as the fastest growing economy in the Asia-Pacific in 2020. Employment hits a 14-year high. High inflation is now a thing of the past. Almost six million Filipinos have been lifted out of poverty,” Panelo said.
(c) manila bulletin