Duterte assures Joma Sison: No ‘Aquino-style’ assassination if you come home
Update (10:00 p.m.)
President Rodrigo Duterte has once again asked Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison to come home to discuss peace with the government. He assured the rebel leader that there will be no “Aquino-style” assassination upon his return.
“Walang Aquino style na patayan na barilin ko sa likod. (There’s no Aquino-style assassination where I’ll shoot someone at the back). It’s not my [style]…” Duterte said Wednesday in his speech during the Presidential Security Group change of command ceremony in Manila.
Duterte was apparently referring to the late Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., who was assassinated on August 21, 1983 upon his return to Manila after years of self-exile in the United States.
Aquino, one of the fiercest critics of late dictator President Ferdinand E. Marcos, was shot in the back seconds after he exited the China Airlines plane that took him home at the Manila International Airport.
Duterte assured Sison of his safety upon his return and even offered to allow members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to secure him.
“Sabi ko, ‘come home and talk, and as long as you do not ask a coalition government, which I cannot give and will never give, you can come home and talk to me and the others, and maybe in the fullness of God’s time we can achieve peace in our land,” Duterte said.
“He does not have to worry about his safety. I will provide his… I may call on maybe members of his command to protect him,” he added.
Last week, Duterte threatened to kill Sison, his former professor, if the peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front fail.
Sison has been in exile in the Netherlands since 1987, when the late President Corazon Aquino released him from prison. /ee
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