MANILA

Palace downplays Reds' 2019 thrust to oust Duterte

MALACAÑANG on Thursday, January 3, merely brushed aside the plan of the communist guerillas to overthrow President Rodrigo Duterte this year.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo the communist movement's plan to topple the Duterte administration was not a cause for concern.

In a statement on Tuesday, January 1, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said removing Duterte from office is the top priority of the communist party this year.

"Well, he (Sison) has been saying that and as I said much earlier and even recently, his is a failed rebellion. It's about time that he realizes that fact that 50 years of rebellion does not born any fruits, insofar as the intention of the rebellion he has launched is concerned," Panelo told Palace reporters.

The communist founder said his party would keep in touch with its "possible allies" to fulfill its ultimate goal to "isolate and oust the Duterte regime from power."

"Its (Communist party) principal work now is to work for the ouster of the Duterte regime," Sison said.

Unfazed by Sison's pronouncement, Panelo just taunted the communist leader, whom he branded as a "visionary" whose plans against the current administration were based on illusions.

"He (Sison) is an illusionist, a visionary that has become illusory. Palagay ko panahon na magkaroon siya ng enlightenment (Perhaps, I think it's time for him to have enlightenment)," the Palace official said.

"But I don't blame him, given the fact that he's how many thousand miles away. Wala talaga siya sa realidad eh. Hindi niya nakikita ang nangyayari dito sa Pilipinas (Indeed, he does not face reality. He does not see what's happening in the Philippines," he added, referring to Sison, who has been in self-exile in the Netherlands since 1987.

Panelo said the Duterte administration was not worried about Sison's "empty" threat.

Panelo, nevertheless, said the government troops are ready to fight communist guerillas who will attempt to destabilize the government.

"Wala naman talagang maselan na threat 'yung kay Sison mismo. Pero 'yung nasa ground na silang gumagawa ng pagsalakay, 'yun ang mga banta but ready naman ang ating mga armed forces diyan (Sison's threat was futile. But for active communists who can be considered as threats, our armed forces are ready for them)," he said. (SunStar Philippines)


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