MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday threatened to slap his former professor, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison, as he continued to lambast communist rebels.
“Magkita tayo Sison sampalin kita, tingnan mo… Sige, umuwi ka… tikim ka talaga sa akin,” Duterte said in his speech during the launch of the TienDA Para sa mga Bayani at Camp General Manuel T. Yan, Sr. in Mawab, Compostela Valley.
Duterte issued this stinging remark against Sison just days after expressing openness to holding a dialogue with the communist leader. The self-exiled communist leader accepted this proposal under the condition that it be done in a neutral country.
In his speech, Duterte again slammed the communist rebels for harboring an ideology that has long lost its touch with the realities on the ground.
“Makakita kayo ng armas maglalaway-laway lang kayo, ngayon you’re holding and you think that you are God,” he said.
"Kayo mag-rebolusyon, it’s 50 god***n years. Nakikinig pa ako kay Sison noon. Walang nangyari hanggang ngayon.”
The President also said the communist party was getting desperate because it has no new breed of leaders who would continue their advocacy.
Duterte’s remark against Sison, his professor at the Lyceum of the Philippines, is the latest against the CPP founder since peace negotiations between the CPP’s political arm, the National Democratic Front, and the government collapsed in November last year.
The termination of the peace talks was followed by the government’s declaration of the CPP and New People’s Army as terror organizations.
Dismayed by the policies of the President, Sison recently called on the youth to emulate the riots of the “First Quarter Storm” against the Duterte administration.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque dismissed Sison’s call and said the CPP founding chairman seemed to be “stuck in history.”
“We don’t attach too much important on Joma Sison. I hope he has enough grandchildren to heed this call,” Roque said.
DUTERTE: DESTROY THE NPA
Duterte’s election as the country’s chief executive was once hailed by communist leaders.
Duterte and Sison once enjoyed friendly ties. As long-time mayor of Davao City, the President had also maintained closeness with local communist leaders.
When he assumed office, Duterte appointed three leftists to the Cabinet, Rafael Mariano to the agrarian reform department, Judy Taguiwalo to the social welfare department, and Liza Maza to the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).
Mariano and Taguiwalo’s appointments have since been rejected by the Commission on Appointments, making Maza and labor undersecretary Joel Maglunsod as the only leftist personalities remaining in the Duterte administration.
Things turned sour between Duterte and the communist rebels, however, when NPA guerrillas supposedly continued attacking state forces despite the ongoing peace talks.
With the peace talks nowhere near resumption, the President ordered the military and the police to “destroy” the NPA in the same manner he wants the drug industry in the country annihilated.
“I used to provide the moderation. Pero ngayon, ako na tapos ganito ang sitwasyon tatapusin ko talaga ito. Ang aking orders, wala akong paki-alam diyan sa inyo,” he said.
“Just like drugs, dito sa giyerang ito destroy the NPA. Destroy the organization. Mga pulis, NBI, PDEA, destroy the drug syndicate.”
Duterte said he could also not accept the communist’s goal of forming a coalition government with the communists.
“I used to listen to that God**** Sison. But there is a time na idealistic ka, but there is a time na praktikal ka,” Duterte said.
“Presidente na ako ngayon, tapos maghingi kayo ng coalition government. You know coalition [government] has something to do with the critical decisions of the Republic of the Philippines. And according to the law, only those persons who are elected by their leaders --- by the people can exercise the power of sovereignty.”