Miriam says Duterte is NPA's bet, CIA backs Poe

Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 06 2016 05:13 AM | Updated as of May 06 2016 10:51 AM

MANILA - Presidential aspirant Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago today claimed that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is the candidate of the New People's Army (NPA).

In a press conference after her campaign speech at the University of Santo Tomas, Santiago said there has been clear support for Duterte among the ranks of the NPA, particularly Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison.

READ: Joma Sison eyes ceasefire, return to PH if Duterte wins 

WATCH: Duterte, Joma Sison chat online

Santiago also alleged that Senator Grace Poe is the candidate being backed by the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) due to Poe's husband's alleged connection with the civilian foreign intelligence service.

"(Rodrigo) Duterte has been announced by INC (Iglesia Ni Cristo) as its official candidate but he is also the accepted candidate of the NPA, so we have an NPA candidate. Papayag ba ang CIA, na sinasabing may relasyon sa asawa ni Grace Poe, na mananalo itong mga komunista?" Santiago told reporters.

When asked whether she believes that the alleged ties between Duterte and the communist group would put the country in danger, the senator answered in the affirmative.

"It's very dangerous, dahil kapag hindi nakuha ng taong kamukha niya ang kagustuhan niya baka gagamit ng dahas," Santiago said.

''They will go out on the street with guns fighting other people who are not with them. There is no ideology involved here. It's all pure personality."

Jose Maria Sison, the exiled CPP founder, earlier said he sees the possibility of a ceasefire between communist rebels and the government if Duterte wins the presidency.

As chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Sison said he and Duterte have "good vibes" because Duterte was his student in Political Thought at the Lyceum of the Philippines.

Sison also warned that there could be trouble if Duterte is cheated in the elections.

WATCH: Joma Sison, nagbanta sakaling 'dayain' si Duterte

Duterte has confirmed that he is in talks with Sison to discuss initial plans for inclusive governance. He said Congress will determine the parameters of such an agreement but everyone will be included in the discussions, especially the Armed Forces.

READ: Joma Sison eyes ceasefire, return to PH if Duterte wins

Poe recently said that her husband, Neil Llamanzares, is a former member of the US military. A PEP interview earlier revealed Llamanzares stayed with the USAF for four years and that Poe stayed with him at a US military base housing in Washington DC for about a year. It was there where their son, Brian, was born.

READ: Poe confirms husband worked with US Air Force

Santiago claimed the CIA has been keenly observing the conduct of elections in the Philippines.

"I don't know how much money have been given for this election but CIA always keeps a wary eye on Philippine elections," she said, noting that the country's strategic location in Asia is important to the agency.

Santiago is well known in the circles of foreign relations and a leading expert in international law. She is also the first Filipino and first female judge from a developing Asian country to be elected to the International Criminal Court.

READ: Miriam elected as judge to Int'l Criminal Court 

Unfortunately, her illness forced her to step down as ICC judge. 

She advised undecided voters to go for someone who will not put the country at risk.

"I'm saying that they should not vote for Duterte because they should vote for me," Santiago said with a smile.

As of posting, Duterte and Poe have yet to respond to Santiago’s statements.