MANILA- Malacañang on Saturday criticized anew Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison for leaving his comrades to settle for a comfortable life in Europe.
"Mr. Sison apparently took to the soft life in Europe leaving his comrades to fend for themselves. No wonder they are only too eager now to demand their unearned portions," presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier challenged Sison, his former professor, to return to the Philippines from his exile in the Netherlands to "fight" him.
This followed the Commander-in-Chief's decision to abandon peace negotiations with the Left following a string of rebel attacks on state forces in different parts of the country.
Abella said it was "unfortunate" that Sison had to "be coaxed to return to his homeland while his wounded comrades in the mountains in the Philippines are left dying only for our soldiers to rescue and accord medical care."
"Mr. Sison's remarks only highlight his apparent disconnect with their men and women on the ground who seem to have deteriorated from ideologues to plain criminals and extortionists," Abella said in his statement.
Sison earlier responded by rejecting Duterte's dare and said he would not be told what to do.
"If deemed necessary by the revolutionary movement, I will return to the Philippines to fight the Duterte puppet regime of US imperialism. (But) I choose the battlefield where I fight and the types of battles that I wage," Sison said in a Facebook post.