MANILA - “Move on.”
Malacañang had this to say to the communist rebels in the Philippines following the collapse of the talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front, adding that the ideologies being espoused by leftist groups are no longer in keeping with the times.
“Eh napakatagal na po nitong labanang na ito. Nasa Guinness Book of World Record na ito. Ano pa ba ang gusto nila? Iyong Tsina, pinakamagaling na sa kapitalismo, Maoist pa rin sila, ano ba iyan?” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a news conference in Davao City, referring to the five-decade long communist insurgency in the Philippines that has left thousands of combatants and civilians dead.
“Kailangang umusad na. Move on. Naiwanan na kayo, iniwan na kayo ng People’s Republic of China, ano ba iyan! Kanino pa kayo magrereport? Wala na kayong pagrereportan, puro bilyonaryo na ang member ng People’s Congress ng Tsina. Naiwan na kayo,” he added.
Roque made this statement when asked to react on Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison’s remark that Duterte is a "consistent political swindler and demagogue who depends heavily on lying”.
Duterte and Sison have been exchanging tough words since the President decided to terminate peace talks with the communist rebels on account of the latter’s armed attacks against state troops.
Roque said Sison’s latest remark against the President was “really foul,” but added he will not “dignify the name calling.”
“Eh kung political swindler siya, bakit ang daming botong binigay sa kaniya sa Davao? Kung political swindler siya, bakit in-appoint sa Gabinete? Kung political swindler siya, bakit hindi siya nag-all out war eh matapos ang eleksyon, popular na popular ang Presidente ‘di ba?” the spokesperson said.
“Eh hanggang ngayon nga eh, tinigil lang ang peace talks at sinabi tuloy ang labanan, pero the President could have ordered an all out war, ‘di ba?”
There had been high hopes that peace will finally be achieved between the government and the communists, following five decades of communist insurgency, when Duterte came to power.
However, these hopes were dashed after the President decided to scrap the negotiations amid what he believes was the communist rebels’ lack of sincerity.
Roque added that Duterte, a self-proclaimed socialist, felt “betrayed” by the communists whom he once considered to be friends.
“Alam ninyo naman dito sa Davao, talaga namang ang Presidente has always close relations with them. Kaya he really feels betrayed. Akala niya, dahil malapit na malapit ang relasyon niya sa kaliwa, eh talaga namang makikipag-usap nang tapat,” he said.