By Francis Wakefield
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday said Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison’s rejection of localized peace talks comes as no surprise to us.
In a statement, Lorenzana said unfortunately for the communist leader, what he thinks and says are immaterial because they have now brought the discourse to the local insurgents sans him.
“I consider Sison’s rejection and rant as just a noisy distraction, like the barking of a dog that is best ignored. Did he think that the government would stop just because the “mighty” Sison rejects it?” Lorenzana asked.
“Fat chance Mr. Sison. Do you really think that you still hold sway over events here in the Philippines? Dream on Mr. Sison. Hold on to your misguided dreams because they are all that’s left for you,” he added.
The CPP earlier said it won’t participate in the localized peace talks being pushed by the Duterte administration.
In a statement issued Friday, the CPP said it has rejected the localized peace talks being pushed by the government as they are only pretending to want peace while actually waging total war against the people.
“[The] so-called localized peace talks are a sham, a waste of people’s money, and are doomed to fail,” the CPP said.
“It is a worn out psywar tactic to project victory to conceal the continuing failure of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to suppress the people’s resistance and stem the steady growth of the NPA (New People’s Army),” it added.
The NPA is the armed wing of the CPP which has waged a five-decade war against the government, the longest-running in Asia.
But Lorenzana reiterated that the world has moved on while Sison continues to wallow in his delusions of grandeur.
“The reality on the ground is that your fighters, whom you have abandoned in order to seek the comforts of the Netherlands are wisening up and returning to the folds of the law in great numbers,” Lorenzana said.
With regard to Sison’s claim that the local talks a waste of money, Lorenzana said if the money given to those returning to society so that they will have stable and sustainable livelihoods, so that their families will have medical care, so that their children can go to school, so that they will have the resources to start new lives and put food on their tables is a waste of money, so be it.
“Let us waste more money on these kinds of endeavors then,” Lorenzana said.
“Your problem Mr. Sison is that you consider the money that is not spent to prop up your gargantuan ego is money wasted. I’ll tell you, Mr. Sison, what money is really being wasted: the monies that you and your cohorts have extorted under the guise of your so-called “revolutionary taxation scheme” that are never accounted for. While we are at it, let us also include the money spent to maintain your luxurious lifestyle in the Netherlands. Now, that is a real waste of money,” the defense secretary added.