BACOLOD City – Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison hit back at President Rodrigo Duterte after the latter challenged him to go home and lead their fight against government in the light of the recent attacks by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Negros Island.
In a press statement furnished to media outfits here by the NPA’s Apolinario Gatmaitan Regional Command in Negros Island Region, Sison said he does not have to prove again that he has the revolutionary will and courage to wage an armed struggle against oppression.
Sison said he was an active part of the people’s war against the regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos for nine years, from 1969 to 1977, before going to prison for another nine years.
The CPP leader claimed he was among those who suffered the worst kinds of torture perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) under the Marcos dictatorship.
“I surpassed the field record of many reactionary military officers who are in the field for a few years until they were assigned desk jobs and then retire at the age of 56,” Sison said.
The rebel leader said he would only return to the Philippines if deemed necessary by the revolutionary movement.
On July 27, 2017, Duterte went to Negros Oriental to visit the wake of the six cops killed in an ambush in Guihulngan City last July 21.
In the press conference that followed, Duterte dared Sison to come back to the country and face him in a “one-on-one fight.”
Duterte said if Sison is indeed fearless, then he (Sison) should face him.
“I am willing to face him anytime,” Duterte said during the press conference.
Duterte also condemned the attacks launched by NPA rebels all throughout the country, particularly the Guihulngan ambush which killed 6 policemen, including Supt. Arnel Arpon, Guihulngan police chief, and a civilian.
He said nothing good will come out of the armed struggle being waged by the NPA rebels in the country while their leader is in refuge in another country.
Duterte also said that the ideology of the NPA is misdirected “as what they do is create havoc in society and also inflict harm on various sectors of society especially the poor who are their victims of extortion.”
But Duterte said his administration is ready to accept members of the CPP/NPA who want to return to the folds of the law and reintegrate in society.
He added that he is willing to give livelihood, shelter and work to those who are decided and ready to surrender to authorities.
“It is not necessary for you (rebels) to bring your firearms,” Duterte said.
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