Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison said he is not afraid to be arrested or even be killed if he decides to return to the Philippines. Apparently, this is his response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to him last Friday, November 24. This is after the president issued Proclamation 360, terminating the peace negotiations.
“If Joma Sison comes here, I will arrest him or if I were him, ‘wag na siyang bumalik dito. Better still, I will not allow him to enter his native land and that is a very painful experience, especially if you’re dying and you think na you should be buried in your own cemetery, in your own town,” President Duterte said during the alumni homecoming in San Beda College of Law.
Sison, 78, has been in self-exile in the Netherlands since 1987, after the collapse of the peace negotiations during the presidency of Corazon “Cory” Aquino. He is also the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which represents rebels in talks concerning the CCP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA).
Last Wednesday, President Duterte said he would order the arrest, not only of armed communist rebels, but also of all the members of “legal fronts” that are helping the Left. He also declared them as “terrorists.” As his response on Thursday, ponse, Joma Sison called Duterte the “No. 1 terrorist in the Philippines.” This Friday, he released another statement.
“He violated the mutual agreement that talks would be discreet until there was good news to announce at the end of the fifth or sixth round of formal talks. In the course of his rants, Duterte unwittingly exposed his scarce, shallow and defective knowledge of the peace process,” Sison said of Duterte, and accused him of sabotaging the peace talks.
About his impending arrest once he gets back to the country, Sison said he that he is not afraid. “I will return to my beloved Philippines any time I want to. I’m already old and nothing can scare me anymore, not even death. If I will be arrested, I will not resist. If I will be killed at the airport, so be it. I’ll be a hero anyway, just like my friend Ninoy (Aquino).” He said.
Contributed by Renato Pasayao