THE recent statements of Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), further justify the Duterte administration’s decision to declare the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), as terrorists.
Following the arrest of consultants of the National Democratic Front (NDF), the CPP’s political arm and negotiator in the scuttled peace talks with the government, which effectively nullified their Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig), Sison warned that the NPA could launch a series of attacks to force the Duterte administration to return to negotiations.
Sison practically outed himself as a cold-blooded terrorist with his statement that the NPA attacks should result in the killing of one soldier a day.
“The NPA in 17 regions has actually the capacity of knocking out at least one AFP soldier every day per region. That eliminates at least 510 enemy troops or some five companies every month nationwide,” he said in a statement from exile in the Netherlands. “That translates to the elimination of some 60 companies or 20 basic battalions every year.”
Yes, one soldier a day, according to Sison, needed to be sacrificed in the name of the CPP’s sinister objective of getting hold of power.
Sison, in a belated realization of the implications of his grotesque pronouncements, issued a clarification days later that he had no capacity to issue orders to the NPA.
But he couldn’t help himself and even doubled down on his earlier estimate, saying the body count could even be higher.
“When asked next about the offensive capability of the NPA, I gave a minimalist estimate of at least one enemy soldier dead everyday in 17 regions, or 510 enemy troops dead every month (17 times 30 days),” he said. “Actually, a higher estimate can be easily made if you use as multiplier 100 guerrilla fronts.”
However Sison chooses to spin his role in the communist movement, his statements are clearly policy pronouncements and would be received as such by the remaining cadres that he has on the ground.
Moreover, these are statements of a terrorist organization that does not deserve the honor of being invited back to the peace table.
Because of his hubris, Sison seems to have forgotten that the government has always had the upper hand against the communist insurgency.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. was correct when he said that Sison was out of place in threatening the government.
“If we haven’t eradicated you, it’s because we opted not to eradicate you as Filipinos. But if you want war, we’re ready to go to war,” Roque told reporters.
Sison should realize that he is not doing the NDF consultants and the peace process any favors by making such threats.
He is clearly out of line, out of touch, out of his league, out of control and out of his mind.