Joma debunks fear of NPA attack on CPP anniversary
LUCENA CITY – Exiled top communist leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison on Thursday debunked the rehashed warning being peddled by the government that the New People’s Army (NPA) is set to stage attacks against state security forces to celebrate the anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
“I believe that when the CPP orders ceasefire the NPA will follow accordingly and will desist from launching tactical offensives,” Sison said in an online interview from his base in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
The CPP will celebrate its 50th founding anniversary on December 26, which also coincides with the annual Yuletide ceasefire being observed by the NPA.
On Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said government troops are ready for any intensified insurgency activities the communist rebels may stage for the upcoming CPP anniversary.
According to the military, the communist rebels traditionally launch attacks on government targets to celebrate not only the founding anniversary of the CPP but also of the NPA every March 29.
Sison noted that police and military always warn its men and the public against tactical offensives that the communist guerillas can launch to celebrate founding anniversaries.
“This time, the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PNP (Philippine National Police) are so sure that the NPA will launch offensives against them to celebrate the golden anniversary of the CPP,” Sison said.
He added: “They are obviously going to fulfill their own prophecy by launching offensives against the NPA and getting in return the active defense and tactical counter-offensives of the NPA”.
Sison stressed that should the CPP finally declare its Yuletide truce, the NPA rebels will still maintain high alert mode for active defense against attacks of enemy forces.
“Because of the persistent all-out war and treachery of the Duterte regime, the NPA has to be alert and ready to go into active defense or even counter-offensive whenever any unit of the AFP, PNP or paramilitary encroaches on the territory of the people’s democratic government,” Sison said.
During CPP anniversaries, the NPA welcomes allies, supporters, local and international media in their hinterland camps in different parts of the country as guests in the celebration.
Top rebel leaders based in Utrecht also celebrate the CPP anniversary with National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) personnel, Filipino migrant workers, and solidarity friends from Netherlands and other European countries.
“Celebration in Utrecht is mainly in the form of performances and exhibits of art and culture in Filipino people’s struggle for national and social liberation,” Sison disclosed.
The government has yet to decide whether or not it would observe a holiday truce with the communist rebels.
But on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana rejected any suspension of military operations (Somo) against the communist guerillas despite the insurgents’ offer of a holiday ceasefire.
Meanwhile, AFP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said the military would not also give opportunity to the rebels to gather and mass up to celebrate the occasion.
This is the first time that government forces are not even contemplating a cessation of hostilities with the CPP and NPA for the holidays. /kga
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