Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison rebuffed President Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge for him to go home and continue his fight in the country.
“I do not have to prove again that I have the revolutionary will and courage to wage armed struggle against oppression,” Sison said, adding he surpasses the field record of many officers in the “reactionary military.”
Duterte continued his verbal attacks against Sison telling his former professor, “If you are truly a revolutionary leader…come home and fight here.”
“Your people here, your NPA (New People’s Army) members, have been dying, losing their husbands. (They) have not even seen Sison. (Their) leader is a coward. Is there a leader who just rest(s) in Utrecht?” Duterte said in a media interview after visiting the wake of the six police officers killed in an ambush in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Sison retorted he was an active part of the people’s war against the Marcos regime for nine years, 1969 to 1977 and then went to fascist prison for another nine years.
Sison is said to be among those who suffered the worst kinds of torture by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) under the Marcos dictatorship.
“I surpass the field record of many reactionary military officers who are in the field for a few years until they are assigned desk jobs and then retire at the age of 56,” Sison said.
Sison, also the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), said he will return to the Philippines to “fight the Duterte puppet regime of US imperialism” if deemed necessary by the revolutionary movement.
“That means surmounting my being in the same old age bracket as Duterte and evading the constant surveillance by the US, Dutch, European and Philippine reactionary intelligence agencies,” Sison said.
“At any rate, I must remind Duterte that we are well past the age of retirement in the NPA and AFP,” he added.
“At his ripe old age of 72, he should not try to project an image of being a strutting young fighter at my expense,” Sison further said.
The CPP founder said he chooses the battlefield where he fights and the types of battles the wages, adding these cannot be dictated by Duterte.
“The way he continues to talk he really hates to engage in peace negotiations with the NDFP. He should sober up and allow his negotiating panel to seriously negotiate with the NDFP negotiating panel and make agreements on social, economic and political reforms that lay the basis of a just and lasting peace for the benefit of the Filipino people,” Sison said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva/Photo by Jon Bustamante)