Joma Sison: Word war better than shooting war
LUCENA CITY—Exiled rebel leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison said the spiteful word war between the government and communist rebels was better than a shooting war to advance the cause of peace.
“Tit for tat polemics between the two sides can unfold their respective positions,” Sison, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder, said in an interview via Facebook on Tuesday from his base in Utrecht in The Netherlands.
“At any rate, the word war cannot be any more harsher than the shooting war,” he added.
“The word war and the shooting war can cool down to the extent that reforms are being agreed upon to address the roots of the armed conflict and the basis for just peace is attained,” Sison explained.
He once said that peace negotiations can only be held between enemies and not friends.
Though President Rodrigo Duterte again invited the communist rebels for another round of peace negotiations after he officially shut the door to the possible resumption of the peace talks early this year, the tough-talking former city major continues to hurl cruel words against the communist insurgents and its leaders, particularly Sison.
In Mindanao on Monday, Mr. Duterte said their rebellion had been “nothing but plain banditry and devoid of ideology.”
Mr. Duterte, however, reiterated his desire for a face-to-face meeting with Sison in the country.
“I’m going to ask him, what do you really want? What do you want, you want to destroy a country? [Do] you really think you can destroy the Philippines? Except that you’re bandits,” Mr. Duterte said.
Sison had repeatedly rejected Mr. Duterte’s invitation for him to come home.
Just last week, Sison said the Duterte administration was “going downhill to hell.”
Sison accused the government of committing mass extrajudicial killings in its bloody drug war and has worsened the conditions of underdevelopment, high unemployment, low incomes, soaring prices of basic commodities and mass poverty in the country.
The recent continuous offensives between the government forces and the Maoist-inspired New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas, the CPP’s armed wing, were also posing threats to the resumption of the peace talks next month or early February.
Sison said Mr. Duterte’s offer of resuming peace talks was allegedly motivated by “desperation” for failing to crush the NPA rebels and not out of sincere desire to find a lasting peace to end the decades-long communist rebellion.—DELFIN T. MALLARI JR.
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