Duterte slams Joma anew: How can I not be socialist?
President Duterte on Thursday maintained that he is a socialist and a leftist leader, and said Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison doesn’t have a monopoly on the tag.
“How can I not be a socialist? I’m always left because we are only migrants in Mindanao. We went through hardships, we experienced the demolition of our house,” Mr. Duterte said in a speech before police personnel in Ozamiz City.
Mr. Duterte accused Sison of branding others as fake socialists because they would not take up arms against the government.
“For that fool, what he (Sison) wants is for you to be leftist or socialist, you have to join the New People’s Army, get into a fight,” the President said.
But Duterte said he is not for armed struggle.
If the socialists would join politics, he (Duterte) would jump to their party, he said. But it has to be a mainstream political party, because the President does not want to kill Filipinos just because they have a different belief.
Sison’s group acts as if they have “the monopoly of talent in the world,” said the President.
“It is as if you are the only ones who have principles in life,” Duterte added.
He then pointed to his signing of the free college tuition law, free irrigation, and his land reform program. He has also provided funds for medicines for the poor, he said.
The President and Sison had been waging a word war since peace talks between the government and communist insurgents broke down.
Mr. Duterte had been angry at the NPA for attacking government troops, including members of his security team.
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