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Palace brushes off Reds’ threats

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By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

Malacañang is still not talking with the communist rebels despite the threat of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison that he will ask the New People’s Army (NPA) to kill one soldier per day.

Sison’s threat was made two months after President Duterte scrapped the peace talks with the communist rebels, citing their insincerity and supposed ceasefire violations.

Illegal arrest

The Palace likewise stressed that it would be illegal for the NPA to arrest members of the Philippine government’s (GRP’s) peace panel in exchange for the release of National Democratic Front (NDF) leader Rafael Baylosis.

Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao earlier said government’s refusal to heed the call for the release of Baylosis may result in the capture of GRP peace panel mebers by the communists.

Pushy

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, in a press briefing Monday, said Sison must think so little of the government forces and that the CPP-NPA-NDF (National Democratic Front) controls the country.

He added that the government will not indulge the request of the CPP-NPA-NDF to talk, telling President Duterte’s former professor to just watch how the government will deal with the communist rebels.

“Bakit kami luluhod? Ano ba ang akala niya sa Hukbong Sandataan, hindi natin sila kaya? Manuod siya (Why should we submit to them? Does he think that the Armed Forces of the Philippines don’t stand a chance against them? He should watch us),” Roque said.

” The President really does not want bloodshed but he should not threaten the government like he controls the entire country,” Roque added.

Legal process for Baylosis

On the arrest of Baylosis, Roque reiterated that he was arrested on legal grounds.

“We’d like to underscore first that the arrest of Mr. Baylosis was pursuant to a lawful arrest order. Now as such, we should allow the legal process to proceed so that our justice system can take its due course,” Roque said.

“He will have to defend himself in court as required by law, and he will have to prove that he is innocent of the criminal charges lodged against him,” he added.

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