MANILA, Philippines - The founder of the reorganized Communist Party of the Philippines believes Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar has a relatively better program of government compared to his rival, Liberal Party presidential candidate Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.
In an interview with D.L. Mondelo of Bulatlat.com, CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison lamented that Villar's programs have been underplayed during the presidential campaign. He said that among Villar's programs are "land reform and self-reliant food production, expansion of local manufacturing to generate employment, support for small and middle entrepreneurs, peace negotiations, review of the Visiting Forces Agreement, respect for human rights and indemnification of the victims of human rights violations and independent foreign policy."
On the other hand, he lambasted Aquino and his running mate, Mar Roxas, as "rabid exponents of the US-dictated policy of neoliberal globalization, which has put the Philippine economy in severe crisis and is inflicting terrible suffering on the people."
Sison said Aquino would probably follow the example set by his mother, the late president Cory Aquino, by paying lip service to land reform "but will actually prevent it in so many clever ways."
"In the particular case of Hacienda Luisita, he will insist on the scam or swindle called the stock distribution option in order to prevent land reform. He promises a clean and honest government but the Kamag-Anak, Inc. and other vested interests are financing his campaign and are prepared to collect the spoils of bureaucrat capitalism and subservience to foreign economic interests," he said.
Sison also noted that Villar seemed to be more amenable to reviving peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front. He said Aquino would probably get advice from former senator Wigberto Tañada and Quezon 4th District Rep. Lorenzo Tañada on the matter of peace negotiations. He warned, however, that some elements in the Aquino camp are "rabid anti-communists and pseudo-progressives who will advise Aquino to pretend being for peace negotiations as a way of deceiving the people."
The CPP founder also defended the inclusion of Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza as guest senatorial candidates of Villar's Nacionalista Party. The alliance has put Sison and Maza on the same slate as Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., son of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
Sison said Ocampo and Liza threatened to withdraw from the NP slate after learning that the NP would forge an alliance with Marcos and his political party, Kilusang Bagong Lipunan.
"They were satisfied only after Villar publicly clarified that they were not compromised as guest candidates in the senatorial slate by the inclusion of Bongbong as another guest candidate and that the program of the NP remains firm on respect for human rights and indemnification of the victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime," he said.