President Duterte has said that Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison will be arrested if he returns to the Philippines.
Duterte, speaking at the San Beda Law Alumni Homecoming in Makati City, has also ordered the arrest of other CPP-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front leaders he temporarily released to enable them to participate in the formal peace negotiations in Norway if they come back to the country.
“If Joma Sison comes here, I will arrest him or if I were him, ‘wag na siyang bumalik dito,” Duterte said. “I released about 32 of them, political leaders, ideological leaders, to show good faith and the confidence building period which is really very necessary in talking to them and to the enemies of the state,” he said.
Duterte said he will not allow the remains of the “dying” Sison, which he has claimed to be very sick and suffering from colon cancer, to be buried in the Philippines. “I will not allow him to enter his native land and that is a very painful experience especially if you’re dying and you think na you should be buried in your own cemetery, in your own town,” he said.
Duterte scored Sison for accusing him of sabotaging the peace talks and calling him the No. 1 terrorist in the Philippines.
According to Duterte, his former professor is entitled to his own opinion amid their irreconcilable differences. “You are entitled to your own opinion but the fact is we cannot ever agree on the so many things that you demand of me,” Duterte said.
Sison said Duterte, because of his decision to officially terminate the peace talks through Proclamation No. 360, unwittingly exposed his scarce, shallow, and defective knowledge of the peace process and called him the country’s top terrorist.
“Duterte is the No. 1 terrorist in the Philippines. He is culpable for the abduction, torture, and mass murder of an increasing large number of poor people, suspected drug users and pushers, peasants, and indigenous people in suspected guerrilla fronts and Moro people suspected of aiding the Dawlah Islamiyah from the time of the indiscriminate bombing of Marawi City to the present in several Bangsamoro areas,” Sison said.
Sison has also called Duterte the “No. 1 drug addict” who should be the target of the police. “As an addict user of the opioid fentanyl, Duterte is the No. 1 drug addict in the Philippines and is the most fitting target of the police units that he has turned into death squads and corrupted with money and promotions,” he said.
Duterte’s relationship with the communists turned sour after they ambushed and killed three soldiers in Bukidnon last February and six members of the Presidential Security Group was wounded in an encounter in July.
Duterte since then expressed his unwillingness to continue with the peace negotiations, saying Sison is a coward for leaving his men in the country to fight his war for him. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)