MALACAÑANG yesterday dismissed the communist insurgency in the country as a failure.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines, whose founding chairman, Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, claimed the CPP has remained “strong” and “vibrant.”
“The 50 years of Joma Sison’s rebellion speaks for itself. It’s a failed rebellion,” Panelo said.
“It only resulted in loss of lives of Filipinos especially the numerous young students who were killed in battles, skirmishes, and in sickness in the hills, who could have served their country well in pacific and productive means, as well as destruction of properties.”
He said rebel returnees are “coming in droves responding to the call of the government to return to the fold of the law, while Sison remains ensconced in his ivory tower of comfort and luxury while his comrades die for a lost cause.”
Sison has been in exile in The Netherlands since 1987.
“No wonder the forces on the ground no longer follow him, hence his regular rants against President Rodrigo Duterte to give himself the appearance of relevance,” Panelo said.
“It’s time for him to wave the white flag before his physique gives up on him. There is honor in returning back to a democratic society and embracing the constitutional order.”
Peace negotiations between the government and communist rebels bogged down in November last year after Duterte lamented the continued attacks by the rebels on troops and civilians.
The President has set out a new strategy in addressing the decades-old communist insurgency as provided for under Executive Order 70 which he signed on December 4.
The EO provides that the whole-of-nation approach aims to address the root causes of insurgencies, disturbances and tensions such as poverty, historical injustice, social inequality and lack of inclusivity.