By Yas Ocampo
DAVAO CITY – The peace panel of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) called on the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to reconsider its order for the New People’s Army (NPA) to intensify its attacks on government security forces in the wake of the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
President Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao in the wake of the attacks staged by the Islamic State-linked Maute Group in Marawi City.
NDFP chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison revealed the call of the communist peace panel to the CPP in a statement released through the NDFP website.
“The NDFP negotiating panel has recommended to the National Executive Committee of the NDFP, and in effect the Central Committee of the CPP to reconsider the order to the NPA to intensify tactical offensives as response to the (Defense Secretary Delfin) Lorenzana statement that the NPA is a target of martial law,” Sison said in his statement.
Even Sison deplored Lorenzana’s statement, but he backtracked after the peace panel of the Philippine government (GRP) clarified that the NPA was not the target of the martial law proclamation.
Sison said the NDFP, the political arm of the local communist rebellion, joins the Philippine government in condemning the attack of the Maute Group in Marawi.
“We in the NDFP are together with the GRP in opposing and fighting the ISIS-affiliated and CIA-supported groups like the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf,” Sison said.
“The terrorist act by the Maute Group should not be an obstacle to the fifth round of formal talks but should be an incentive to the GRP and NDFP to meet and agree to fight groups that are terrorists because they target, terrorize, and harm civilians solely or mainly,” Sison added.
Sison also revealed that President Duterte even told NDFP consultant Fidel Agcaoili in a recent meeting that the GRP and NDFP should unite against terrorist groups like the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf Group.
How the CPP and the NPA respond to Sison’s call will be an interesting development to observe.
Sison, in an exclusive interview with Manila Bulletin early this month, admitted that although he is the founding chairman of the 49-year-old CPP, he does not exercise control over the NP, leftist.
In that rare interview through Skype from Utrecht, Netherlands, Sison said, “no one in Utrecht has ever claimed to control the revolutionary forces and people in the Philippines.”
“No one in Utrecht can give orders to the CPP, NPA, NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) in the Philippines,” said Sison.
“The collective leading organs of the CPP, NPA, NDFP, which are based in the Philippines, are the principal of the NDFP negotiating panel. They give orders and instructions to the NDFP negotiating panel,” said Sison in that exclusive interview.
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