THE National Liberation Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on Tuesday revealed an alleged plot by that the country's armed forces and the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to kill NDFP founding chair Jose Maria Sison and overthrow President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a statement issued by the NDFP national executive committee, it claimed that based on reports of their several sources, military officers who are assets of the US-CIA and are in tight ties with Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Eduardo Año are engaged in a two-stage plot to assassinate Sison and overthrow Duterte.
It said the first stage of the plot is to send a hit team to The Netherlands, where Sison is based, upon verbal orders by Año and Duterte.
It said the head and members of the assassinating team will be made to appear as entirely renegades or dropouts from the New People's Army, the armed wing of the communist group, although the fact was that they were handpicked from the AFP's Special Forces.
"The rationale of the assassination is to demoralize the revolutionary forces and possibly sow confusion and pandemonium among them," the statement read.
It said that it is most likely that the hit team is now in The Netherlands for the operation which prompted Sison to take security precautions such as letting volunteers guard him and take photographs of those in the vicinity of his home or even in public places.
Meantime, in the second stage of the plot, said the statement, will be a coup to unseat Duterte for several reasons such as having collaborated with the communist party for decades and for betraying the alliance with the US and veering towards China and Russia.
Among the other reasons the group said was that Duterte was playing favourites and subverting the professional standards among military and police personnel, corrupting and criminalizing law enforcers in committing extrajudicial killings, for flagrant violation of human rights and for failing to solve the country's illegal-drugs problem.
The NDFP said it has taken note of Duterte's previous remark that he is in danger of being ousted by a coup and to avoid such, he is appointing more military officers in his Cabinet and other high civilian offices.
"The NDFP admonishes him to end his all-out war policy against the revolutionary movement, to desist from proclaiming martial law nationwide and to withdraw from involvement in the plot to assassinate the NDFP chief political consultant," it said.
"The NDFP reminds him to engage seriously and sincerely in peace negotiations, comply with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law by releasing all political prisoners and address the roots of the civil war through mutual agreements on social, economic and political reforms in order to lay the basis for a just and lasting peace," it added.
The military, however, was quick to debunk the claims by NDFP.
"That is not true at all! This is once again a propaganda line of the left to gain sympathy and toe the anti-US line that they usually take. Again this is such a preposterous statement," said AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla. (SunStar Philippines)