MALACAÑANG on Saturday taunted self-exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison who expressed his intent to return to the Philippines to fight the "puppet" regime of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Sison, who has been in self-exile in the Netherlands since 1987, would not be swayed to head home, were it not for Duterte who challenged him to go back and fight him.
Abella said Sison apparently allowed his fellow communists to turn into "plain criminals and extortionists" from being ideologues, while he is enjoying a "soft life" in the foreign country.
"It is unfortunate he needs 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 recuse and accord medical care. Mr. Sison apparently took the soft life in Europe leaving his comrades to fend for themselves. No wonder they are only too eager now to demand their unearned portion," Abella said in a statement.
"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…,” he added.
On Thursday, the President called out Sison, who he said is a “coward,” to come back to the Philippines and join the communist rebels in fighting his administration.
Duterte's challenge came amid the attacks of the CPP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army, against the government troops.
The Chief Executive told Sison: “I dare you, as a leader of the communist party, I dare you, come home and fight your war here because I’m here.”
Responding to Duterte’s remark, Sison said he was willing to go back and dwell with the current "puppet regime" of the United States’ (US) imperialism.
Sison said it was evident that the Chief Executive “hates to engage in peace negotiations” with the CPP’s political wing, the National Democratic Front.
“If deemed necessary by the revolutionary movement, I will return to the Philippines to fight the Duterte puppet regime of US imperialism. That means surmounting my being in the same old age bracket as Duterte and evading the constant surveillance by the US, Dutch, European and Philippine reactionary intelligence agencies,” Sison said in a statement.
“At any rate, I choose the battlefield where I fight and the types of battles that I wage. These cannot be dictated by Duterte who hopes vainly that the US and European intelligence would tip him off as soon as I leave the Netherlands for the Philippines,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)