Lorenzana calls Joma Sison an ‘armchair general’
MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday tagged Jose Maria Sison, the exiled founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) as an “armchair general” who only directs communist rebels away from the Philippines.
“Ang tawag ko d’yan (kay Sison) armchair general, hindi na siya lumalabas sa upuan niya, direct lang nang direct which is not effective,” Lorenzana said in a Palace briefing.
“I have more respect to these fighters niya dito sa baba, kahit na nakakalaban namin sila. I have more respect to them than to him. Sila ang nandito e sila ang naghihirap,” he added.
Lorenzana issued the remark as the communist group marked its 50th anniversary by giving Sison its “highest honor.”
The Defense chief also insisted that peace talks with the CPP leadership is the only thing that is keeping Sison in the limelight.
“Ang tagal na niyang wala sa Pilipinas I think he left the country in the 1990s, 1987 and he hasn’t comeback here, di na siya nakabalik. And still he knew what’s happening in the ground? I don’t think so. He makes himself relevant by having the peace talks in Norway, tanggalin mo ‘yan mawalan siya ng relevance diyan,” he said.
“Kaya tama nga ang decision ni Presidente, let us have the talks here, why do we have to involve other countries in our problems. Because they want, part of the strategy is to internationalize the issue, kahit di naman international ‘yang issue na ‘yan. It is our problem here in the Philippines,” Lorenzana added.
The CPP has engaged the government in on-and-off peace negotiations for more than three decades since the administration of former President Corazon Aquino.
Talks between the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and the CPP broke down last year as the government cited continued attacks by the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the CPP, against state troops despite ongoing negotiations.
Earlier this month, the President issued Executive Order No. 70, which calls for a “whole of nation” approach in its strategy in ending the community insurgency in the country. It also called for talks to be localized. /muf
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.