Military scoffs at Sison threat, says NPA can’t topple Duterte
The military on Friday belittled a statement made by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria “Joma” Sison that the insurgents could topple President Duterte if he canceled the peace talks altogether.
Col. Edgard Arevalo, spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said on Friday that the insurgents had failed in the past to oust the [country’s sitting] President and would again come to grief this time.
“There have been peace talks after another that have failed in the past. And each time, they were trying to oust the President but never came close enough to at least unsettle a commander-in-chief,” Arevalo said.
He slammed Sison’s “temerity to make such a threat,” claiming that members of the New People’s Army, the CPP’s armed wing, had been surrendering “in droves” to the military.
Sison predicted more bloodshed following the President’s decision to again cancel the resumption of formal peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
“The broad united front of patriotic and progressive forces … are advancing and can oust the Duterte regime in due time,” he said on Thursday.
The government and NDFP announced on Thursday a three-month lull in peace negotiations with Malacañang saying the postponement would allow the President to personally review all the agreements both panels had forged in the past.
In an online interview from Utrecht, the Netherlands, Sison said there would be “no ceasefire in the next three months” because the President wanted “to launch his military offensives first and find out the results.”
Clashes between government troops and the rebels flared up anew on Thursday.
An Army soldier was wounded and classes were disrupted following a firefight with the rebels near a school in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
In Kidapawan City, six soldiers were wounded in a roadside explosion at Barangay Doles in Magpet, Cotabato, according to Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza. —With reports from Frinston Lim, Williamor Magbanua, Edwin Fernandez and Jigger Jerusalem
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