Nothing new with Joma claims vs. military

By Priam Nepomuceno

January 10, 2019, 10:14 am

MANILA -- There is nothing new about Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison's claims that the government and the military cannot neutralize the New People's Army (NPA).

"(A) natural reaction of a consultant and spokesman of the NPA. He does not want to become irrelevant," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said when asked Thursday by the Philippine News Agency for a comment on the CPP founder's allegations.

Earlier, Sison said the government's reset of the deadline to neutralize the NPA by another three years will fail as communist fighters will intensify tactical offensives and mass work.

The NPA, the CPP's armed wing,is listed as terror organization by the United States and the European Union.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the ongoing localized peace talks are unlike what Sison desires, for negotiations to take place abroad, and are proving to be successful.

"Ang gusto kasi ni Joma the same pa rin (What Joma wants is the same) -- we go abroad, we go to Norway, with the intercession of a third country, mag-usap-usap dun (we will talk there). Well, sinabi naman ni President nung last year na wag na dun, umuwi ka na lang dito (Last year, the President said he doesn't want the talks held there. Come to the Philippines), we can talk here. So, we support yung peace talks dito (the peace talks here)," Lorenzana said.

The defense chief also noted that the rebels are just taking advantage of the peace talks to push through with their sinister activities.

"If you want peace, then let us talk peace. Ang nakikita kasi natin, itong si Sison dahil nakikita niya na successful tayo sa localized peace talks, gusto na naman nilang magpatuloy yun para dun pumunta sa abroad, mag-ceasefire dito para makabawi naman yung tropa nila sa lupa (What we see here is that Sison thinks that because our localized peace talks are successful, they want to push for it so we can go abroad again. Then, there will be another ceasefire so their forces on the ground can regroup)," Lorenzana said.

"That has always been their tactic before, gusto nila ang (they want) peace talks. Kaya't binigyan lang sila ni Presidente ng konting pagkakataon (That’s why the President gave them a slim chance). The door is still open, meron pang (there is still a) slight opening, lumulundag agad siya ng tuwa dahil peace talks na naman (they are jumping again in joy because of the peace talks)," he added. (PNA)