By: Kristine Angeli Sabillo
07:00 PM May 5th, 2016
An “anticommunist rant”—that was how Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison described an edited video posted by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Facebook claiming a “Duterte-Joma Sison alliance.”
The video, which runs for two minutes and 45 seconds, shows presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte talking to Sison through a video conference app.
Sison could be heard talking about a coalition and telling Duterte that his camp was the only one that had shown understanding of the National Democratic Front’s (NDF) program.
They talked about the prospects of the upcoming national elections and the possibility of cheating, which Sison said their groups should unite against.
Trillanes posted the video on May 3, claiming that it confirmed a “Duterte-Joma Sison alliance.” It now has almost one million views on Facebook.
But Sison, who went into exile in the Netherlands in the 1980s, said Trillanes was just being desperate.
He said the senator, who is running for vice president, wanted to “spin” the video for “rabid anticommunist purposes.”
The reference to the CPP was taken out of context, he said, adding that Trillanes was looking for other ways to hit Duterte after BPI, the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas denied releasing the documents purportedly showing that the mayor had P200 million in his bank account.
The NDF’s chief political consultant said the video was just an excerpt of an eight-minute video released by the Exodus for Justice and Peace (EJP), a third-party facilitator on the release of prisoners of war.
A copy of the original video posted on Youtube showed Sison thanking Duterte for facilitating the release of the police officers held by the New People’s Army (NPA).
Duterte, on the other hand, talked about the economic crisis and the widespread poverty in the country.
Asked what he meant by a coalition, Sison told INQUIRER.net that he was looking at a possible alliance of the revolutionary movement—the CPP-NPA-NDF—with Duterte against electoral fraud.
“Kung makaupo naman siya bilang presidente, posible rin ang alliance bilang bunga ng GPH-NDFP peace negotiations,” Sison said.
(If he becomes president, there is a possible alliance resulting from the Government of the Philippines-NDF of the Philippines peace negotiations.)
In the full video, Sison tells Duterte that he hoped there would be “national unity, peace and development” during the next administration. He goes on to discuss the need for national industrialization and land reform.
Duterte, on the other hand, tells the CPP founder that he follows the path of socialism.
“I am a socialist though I am not a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines. And I belong to the left,” the mayor says.
Sison does not comment on this and instead says it is important for a candidate to include programs on poverty in his electoral platform.
“Syempre pag kayo ang nasa posisyon na, mas marami kayong magagawa. Mas mapapatupad ang inyong misyon at vision para sa kabutihan ng sambayanang Pilipino,” he says.
Sison reiterated that as a revolutionary organization, the CPP was not part of the electoral process and would not endorse any candidate.
In a previous interview with INQUIRER.net, he weighed in on the five presidential candidates.
Although he said he could not call Duterte “the best President the Philippines can have since Marcos,” he recognized that the mayor had “strength of character,” especially after opposing a US proposal to make Davao City a base for its drone operations.
Duterte has long been criticized by some groups for having close ties with the left.
Sison, however, earlier pointed out that the mayor had flip-flopped on his statements on the NPA.
During the last interview, Sison said the documents presented by Trillanes seemed fake.
“Nakuryente si Trillantes ng mga mismong kasamahan niya. Halata ito sa paglista ng supposed properties ni Duterte. Isinali pati properties ng ka-epelyido niya,” he said.