MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte forming a hit squad to target members of a liquidation team commanded by leftist rebels is a "dangerous proposal" which aims to allow military officials to kill suspected fighters, Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said Wednesday.
The chief executive said he would one day be forced to create his own Special Partisan Unit--referred to by the military as "SPARU" or "sparrows"--which will do nothing else but hunt down suspected New People's Army fighters.
But Sison said these units "don’t exist anymore in the way they existed in the 1970s and 1980s." While he acknowledged that there were incidents of NPA teams hitting elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, he said these are "not necessarily Sparrow units."
"Duterte is just inventing the imagined and multiplying them as if Sparrow units are already under his own bed in Malacañang Palace," Sison told ANC's Headstart.
"He is giving out the license again for military officers to just kill anyone in bus terminals, trunk lines in urban areas, just because they don’t like the looks of anyone who is on standby and suspected as a candidate for being a red fighter of the New People’s Army," he said.
Such a scenario would be similar to the "Oplan Tokhang" of the government's war on drugs, as Duterte "would like to probably kill NPA suspects by the tens of thousands," said Sison.
He added that Duterte was making up the prevalence of Sparrow units to "justify his own death squads."
Duterte scrapped peace negotiations with the communist underground last year, citing continued attacks by the communist rebels. His Department of Justice also moved to have the CPP and the NPA declared as terrorist organizations.