Duterte tags Sison as ‘cowardly’; rejects coalition gov’t with rebels » Manila Bulletin News

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Duterte tags Sison as ‘cowardly’; rejects coalition gov’t with rebels

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By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte branded Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison as the “most cowardly of all cowards” for seeking a coalition government with communists in exchange for a peace agreement.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Committee (MRRD-NECC) National Convention at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City on March 21, 2018. (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

President Rodrigo Duterte (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Speaking at the 16th anniversary rites of the Supreme Tribal Council for Peace and Development Inc. in Davao City last Friday, the. President said Sison wanted to join government and create a “politburo” or a committee where both government and communist officials would share power.

“Sison is the most cowardly of all cowards. He was my idol when I was still a student. But now, whenever I talk to him, he tells me that he wants to join the government. We are like a politburo if that’s the case…They want a committee (where) they’re on the other side while I’m on the government side,” he said .

Duterte categorically opposed any coalition government with the rebels, saying such coalition means sharing a part of the country’s sovereignty which he claimed is something he cannot give.

“Our Constitution is the basis of sovereignty and the government. It can only be given to the person who was chosen by the people,” he said.

“But the person who would choose something like that is an immature coward,” he said, referring to Sison who supposedly sought a coalition government which Duterte said would undermine the country’s electoral process.

The President earlier declared that the rebel demand for a coalition government was one of the reasons the peace talks between the government and the rebels collapsed.

In his speech last Friday, Duterte lashed out at the communist rebels for abandoning their children and following Sison to their deaths as if he was a god.

Duterte added:”Look at what you did not just to your fellow person, but to the person whom you gave birth to. Son of a b*tch,and then you leave them. What’s worse is that you join the NPA and die for it. You will lose yourself to nothing, Then you follow Sison whom you’ve treated as your god.”

He also hit back at the insurgents for killing other people based on Sison’s ideology which Duterte said had long lost its touch with the realities on the ground.

“When the communists fight, they kill. Your lives are in disarray,” he said.

“You’re not even prepared to die for God, but you’d be willing to die for an ideology. Whose ideology is that? It’s Sison’s. Who is he? He’s only a man. What is he? Stupid. Very stupid,” he added.

The President terminated the government’s peace talks with the communist rebels late last year over deadly attacks on troops. He has also declared the communists as terrorists and ordered the re-arrest of rebel consultants earlier set free for the peace talks.

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