MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday dared Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison to come to the Philippines from The Netherlands and fight.
"I dare you as a leader of the Communist Party, I dare you come home and fight your war here. Kasi ako nandito. Gusto mo tayong dalawa?" Duterte said, addressing Sison in an interview with reporters in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.
Duterte, who recently announced he was abandoning peace talks with the Left, said Sison was a coward as he has remained in exile in the Netherlands while New People’s Army (NPA) rebels lose their lives here in defense of their ideology.
“If you are truly a revolutionary leader, come home and fight here. All these years nandon ka sa ibang lugar. Iyung mga dito na mga NPA, nangamatay na,” the President said.
“Magre-rebolusyon tapos nagatago sa ibang lugar. Dito tayo. Umuwi ka, ako ang magsalubong sa iyo,” he added.
The President made the remarks during his visit to the wake for six police officers killed in an alleged NPA ambush in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental on Saturday. He gave at least P520,000 in financial and livelihood assistance to each of the bereaved families.
Duterte has for days been trading barbs with Sison, his former professor, after talks between government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) collapsed.
The government attributed the breakdown in talks to the NPA’s continued attacks against state forces despite the ongoing peace negotiations.
The President has also slammed the NPA for collecting so-called “revolutionary taxes” from businessmen and ordinary folk.
The communist movement, for its part, slammed Duterte for placing the entire Mindanao under martial law, saying it has given state troops the license to violate human rights.
The renewed tiff between Duterte and Sison started when the President claimed that that CPP founding chair has colon cancer.
Sison denied the allegation and turned the tables on the President, questioning the chief executive’s prolonged absence in the early days of the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.
He dared the President to reveal his medical records and seek the help of a psychiatrist.
In response to this, Duterte said: “Duwag. Anong klaseng leader iyan? Umuwi ka dito at dito ka mag-standby. Don’t question my absence.”
“Huwag ka magpasarap, umuwi ka. Lahat ng gusto mo mga galing sa negosyo dito because of taxation. Kayong mga nasa taas, ang lalaki ng allowance niyo,” the President said.
Meanwhile, the President said he would ask Congress to craft a national security code. He also asked authorities to stop using the term “revolutionary tax” and simply slap extortion and kidnapping charges against communist rebels who would commit atrocities.