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Palace hits Sison over US-backed coup claim

MANILA, Philippines — Jose Maria Sison should “wake up from his half-century of sleep,” Malacañang said on Monday as it dismissed the exiled communist leader’s latest rant as a “wishful thinking of a tired, old, failed revolutionary.”

In a statement, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo belittled Sison’s claim that President Duterte could be ousted in a coup d’etat backed by the United States.

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Panelo reacted to Sison’s remark that the United States, without firing a single shot, could order its followers in the police and the military to take the President into custody.

Sison also said rebellious government forces could then install Vice President Leni Robredo as President Duterte’s constitutional successor.

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But the Palace said Sison only acknowledged the failure of the insurgents’ armed struggle and that they were relying on the United States to do the job.

“It’s not only ironic, it’s pitiful that this man has to rely on a foreign country to effect a change of leadership in this country. It is an admission in fact that their revolution has failed,” Panelo said.

Peace talks terminated

The President initially acknowledged Sison as his former professor, but the ties between the two went sour after Duterte terminated the peace talks with the communist rebels.

The government has lambasted the insurgents’ lack of sincerity in talking peace and attacks on government forces even with a ceasefire in place.

Malacañang also dismissed Sison’s claim that Mr. Duterte was receiving bribes from China.

“Not only misplaced, it’s absolutely false. What bribery is he talking about? He must be having nightmares,” Panelo said.

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The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Monday described as “senile talk” Sison’s claim that the United States could order the police and the military to oust Mr. Duterte.

‘Coward gone insane’

“This coward (Sison) has gone insane. He is already muttering words of an old man whose memory has abandoned him,” said Col. Noel Detoyato, chief of the AFP public affairs office.

“Come back to the Philippines and face reality,” Detoyato said.

“We are a sovereign country. We have our own democratic institutions. What [Sison] is saying is an indication of his state of mind,” he added.

Col. Bernard Banac, spokesperson for the Philippine National Police, also brushed off Sison’s statement as unfounded.

“His (Sison’s) statement has no basis. We all know that the PNP has the duty to abide by the Constitution and follow the law,” Banac said in a radio interview.

He assured the public that the PNP remained true to its duty and loyal to the Constitution and would thwart any attempt at a coup d’etat.

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TAGS: Joma Sison, Jose Maria Sison, Rodrigo Duterte, Salvador Panelo, US-backed coup
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