Roque ‘feels sorry’ for Joma over ‘sham’ comment on holiday truce
“I feel sorry for him.”
This was the response of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque to the statement of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison, calling President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of the holiday unilateral ceasefire with the New People’s Army (NPA) as “possibly a sham.”
“How do you comment to someone who says that wanting peace during Christmas time is sham? We leave it to the people to conclude how we should react to that statement of Joma Sison,” Roque said in a Palace briefing on Thursday.
Roque said Sision might not be able to feel the importance of the holiday ceasefire because he is not in the Philippines.
“The President doesn’t have to explain. In fact, Joma Sison is calling it a sham. We should be thankful that the President is pushing through with the unilateral ceasefire altogether. He could have ignored it completely and not declared anything,” he said.
“But I felt that it was a right decision because finally, I personally felt it’s Christmas with the announcement,” he added.
Roque further noted: “If Joma Sison did not feel any spirit of Christmas because of the Suspension of Military Operations, well, I feel sorry for him.”
“I feel sorry for him then. That’s what happens when you’re not here in the Philippines anyway,” he also said.
On Wednesday, Roque announced that Duterte has declared ceasefire with the communist rebels this Christmas season.
In an ambush interview at Camp Aguinaldo also on Wednesday, Duterte said his declaration of ceasefire was not for the NPA but for the Filipinos.
“So that they will spend Christmas less strain and less pressure,” he told reporters. /kga
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