Joma: Reds ready for war
LUCENA CITY — Communist rebels are ready to wage war against the government, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison said on Saturday.
Sison said the CPP had ordered its armed wing, New People’s Army, to frustrate the military’s counterinsurgency operations in anticipation of the termination of peace talks.
“I think that the revolutionary forces and people are ready to fight back even against worse attack from the Duterte regime,” the exiled CPP founder said in an online interview.
Speaking in Davao City on Friday night, President Rodrigo Duterte balked at the CPP’s alleged proposal to share power in a coalition government, declaring “I cannot give it to you. Let’s go to war.”
Sison, however, said it was the President who expressed openness to a coalition government with the rebels when he was still a mayor in 2014.
The President also said on Saturday night that there was a “small window” for the government to reach a peace agreement with the rebels.
“For the small window that I gave to myself and Sison, we have to have some common agreement. Sixty days and after that, if nothing happens, then I tell you: Prepare for war,” he said in Davao City.
He added: “So I don’t know what would be the next step… No coalition government, cessation of hostilities, they must surrender and place themselves in camps, I do not disarm them.”
Jesus Dureza, presidential peace adviser, on Sunday said the President had not shut the doors on the talks.
The President had canceled talks set for June 28-30 in Oslo, Norway, saying the government needed to first hold public consultations on the previous agreements.
Sison said the rebels had been sincere in their quest for peace. —With reports from Julie M. Aurelio, Bong S. Sarmiento and Inquirer Research