November 25, 2017
By Ruth Abbey Gita
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said that he would want Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison to suffer a “very painful experience” by disallowing his possible return to the Philippines.
The President made the pronouncement following the signing of Proclamation 360, which formally terminates the government’s peace negotiations with the CPP, and its political and armed wings, the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the New People’s Army (NPA).
Duterte warned Sison, who has been on self-exile in the Netherlands since 1987, that he would get arrested, if he plans to come back to the country.
“If Joma Sison comes here, I will arrest him. Or if I were him, I will not return here,” Duterte said in a speech delivered during the San Beda Homecoming held in Makati City Friday night.
“But still, 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 that you should be buried in your own cemetery, in your town,” he added.
Duterte, who signed Proclamation 360 on November 23, said he had been “pleading for peace” but the communist rebels had done “so much destruction to the country.”
In a statement released Friday, Sison accused Duterte of “sabotaging” the peace talks between the government peace panel and the NDF personnel.
Sison said Duterte’s “rants” against the peace negotiations between the two parties merely indicated his “scarce, shallow, and defective knowledge” of the peace process.
He claimed that the peace talks between the government and NDF panels were bearing fruit as they were already preparing to finalize drafts on amnesty for release of political prisoners, coordinated unilateral ceasefires, and drafts on agrarian reform.
The CPP founder, however, said Duterte “spouted lies” and “showed ignorance” when he made the decision to scrap the peace dialogue.
“There are symptoms that Duterte is mentally unfit to handle the complexities of the affairs of his state and the peace process between the [government and NDF],” Sison said.
“[Government] officials in his Cabinet and the reactionary armed forces should consider whether he is mentally fit for his office or needs to be replaced, in accordance with their 1987 Constitution,” he added.