By: Delfin T. Mallari Jr. – @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:27 AM September 10, 2017
LUCENA CITY — Communist rebels could no longer be persuaded to return to the negotiating table, Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison said on Saturday in reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that talks would resume only if the insurgents declared a ceasefire.
“The line has been drawn to separate, fight and overthrow the US-Duterte regime. Duterte would have a hard time to act convincing again,” Sison said in an online interview from Utrecht, the Netherlands.
“Early on, it has been proven that Duterte is a liar and untrustworthy,” he said.
Sison also scoffed at Mr. Duterte’s proposal to make New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas who surrendered part of state security forces.
“He wants to convert surrendered NPAs into his soldiers? Duterte has truly gone insane,” Sison said.
On Friday, Duterte said there would be no talks until rebel forces declared a cessation of hostilities.
He also enticed NPA rebels to surrender without precondition and become government soldiers with free housing.
The peace talks to end nearly 50 years of insurgency under the Duterte administration started last year on a high note with four fruitful rounds of negotiations.
But in May, Mr. Duterte suspended the talks because of continued NPA attacks on government forces.
The President became more incensed after communist rebels ambushed a convoy of the Presidential Security Group in Arakan, North Cotabato province, in July.
“Duterte is very confident in using arms and deception. He launched the war against drugs to show his iron fist and capability to kill many to strike fear among the (Filipino) society,” Sison said.
Sison said Duterte’s drug war had two objectives: “for Duterte, his son and their allies to monopolize the illegal drugs market and transform the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police into private armed groups to enforce fascist dictatorship in the Philippines.” ”