By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang said the police and the military would not let President Duterte down following the extension of martial law and the collapse of the peace talks with Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
This Palace statement came after CPP founder Joma Sison said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) would eventually withdraw their support to Duterte following the one-year extension of the martial law in Mindanao.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar debunked Sison’s claims, saying the President still enjoys the overwhelming support of the government forces.
“I believe that ang ating AFP at ang ating kapulisan ay malakas po sila, at number one, ang kanilang loyalty ay nasa Presidente, nasa bansa (I believe that the AFP and PNP is strong and their loyalty to the President and to the country is on top of their list),” Andanar said in an interview over Radyo Pilipinas.
He added that the AFP and the PNP would be able to overpower the lawless elements in the country’s south.
“I know that the AFP and the Philippine National Police are overwhelmingly very powerful and really a force to reckon with,” he said.
According to Andanar, Sison is not qualified to make such remarks as he has been out of the country for over three decades.
“Obviously si Joma Sison is really out of touch. Malayo siya sa Pilipinas. Matagal na ho siya diyan sa The Netherlands (He is far from the Philippines and has been in the Netherlands for too long),” he said.
“Kahit anong sabihin po natin, kahit anong technology po meron tayo, kung hindi po natin nakakausap ‘yung mga tao, lalong-lalo na sa ground, ay hindi ho talaga natin napupulsuhan ng maayos (No matter how advanced the technology is, if we cannot talk to the men on the ground, we will not be able to get a hint of what’s really happening),” he added.
Sison earlier stated that the extension of martial law is aimed at the CPP-NPA-NDF. He also said the extension is a clear indication that Duterte is planning to place the entire country under martial rule.
“The objective of the US-Duterte regime is to destroy the CPP and NPA before the end of 2018 by first concentrating attacks on the guerrilla fronts in Eastern Mindanao and elsewhere in Mindanao and then on the guerrilla fronts in Luzon and the Visayas upon the expansion of martial law nationwide,” Sison said in a statement.
Earlier, Duterte blasted Sison for enjoying his life in exile in Utrecth in the Netherlands while leaving his men behind to die fighting the war he started.
“All these years, nandoon ka sa ibang lugar, nagpapagastos ka ng ibang gobyerno, tapos ‘yung mga tao mo dito, kawawang mga NPA, nangamatay na lang (you are letting the government of another country spend money on you while you let your people here die),” Duterte said last August.
“Umuwi ka, ako ang magsalubong sayo. Mayabang (Come home and I will greet you myself. You are full of air). If you are really brave, if you are really sincere, come home and fight,” he added.
Duterte also threatened to jail Sison if he dares step foot on Philippine soil.
“If Joma Sison comes here, I will arrest him or if I were him, ‘wag na siyang bumalik dito (I will not return anymore),” Duterte said in his speech during the San Beda Law Alumni Homecoming in Makati City last month.
“I will not allow him to enter his native land and that is a very painful experience especially if you’re dying and you think na (that) you should be buried in your own cemetery, in your own town,” he added.
Last month, Duterte signed Proclamation No. 360 and Proclamation No. 374, officially terminating the formal peace talks with the Reds, and declaring them as terrorists and have them arrested under the Human Security Act. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)