By Ian Nicolas Cigaral (philstar.com) | Updated November 25, 2017 – 6:15pm
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is a “big liar” for saying his administration would never coalesce with the left, Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison said Saturday following the termination of peace talks with Maoist rebels.
Amid continued hostilities during negotiations, Duterte on Thursday signed a proclamation unilaterally scrapping the peace process with communist insurgents, whom he would consider a “terrorist group.”
The self-styled socialist leader said talks collapsed because of the communists’ “pure nonsense” demand for a coalition government, which he opposed by insisting he should maintain control over the military and the police.
In a strongly worded statement, Sison described Duterte as a “consistent political swindler and demagogue who depends heavily on lying.”
“Duterte does not mind being proven a big liar on the question of coalition government. He thinks that he can move on from success to success at political swindling,” Sison said.
“Now, he is being carried away by his obsession to establish a fascist dictatorship through charter change under the pretext of adopting a pseudo-federal system under his overcentralized despotism and terrorism,” he added.
To prove his point, Sison cited a news report dating back to 2014 where Duterte, still a Davao City mayor at that time, was quoted as saying he would forge a coalition government with leftist rebels and Muslim separatists if elected as president.
“I am open to a coalition with revolutionary forces and other patriotic forces,” Duterte said in a news article published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Dec. 28, 2014.
“I guarantee that it will not be a communist government as it will retain the basic fundamentals of a democratic society,” the president added.
Duterte reactivated peace talks with communists in August last year. Both sides have been in on-off negotiations since 1986.
Duterte previously sent mixed signals on the peace negotiations with the Maoist guerillas.
He would express readiness to talk to the insurgents after declaring that peace negotiations with them are just a “waste of money.”
“As a president in a rush to become a fascist dictator, he (Duterte) expects to have limitless opportunities for bureaucratic corruption like his idol Marcos, especially in overpriced infrastructure projects, government purchases and cheap sale of raw materials,” the CPP founder also said.
Sison said in an earlier statement that Duterte “sabotaged” the negotiations.
He said the panels had been working on common drafts for an agreement “after several months of hard work in unilateral and bilateral meetings” that would have been finalized in Oslo toward the end of November.
Sison said that instead of going through agreed channels, Duterte “cited alleged recent incidents in the armed conflict which he used as false basis for slandering the revolutionary forces and threatening the termination of the peace negotiations.”
He added that Duterte also “violated the mutual agreement that talks would be discreet until there would be good news to announce at the end of the fifth or sixth round of formal talks.”