Military calls for vigilance as CPP celebrates 50th anniversary
MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) called for public vigilance against possible attacks by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) that marks its 50th anniversary on Wednesday, December 26.
"The Armed Forces of the Philippines advises the peace-loving Filipinos to take extra caution and remain vigilant against attacks from terrorist group Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army- National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) as part of their founding anniversary especially that Mr Joma Sison has ordered them to escalate attacks and violence during this Christmas season," said AFP spokesperson Colonel Noel Detoyato. (READ: CPP 50th anniversary goal: Overthrow Duterte regime)
Detoyato said the CPP-NPA-NDF "has nothing to celebrate and no achievement to be proud of."
Army spokesperson Colonel Louie Villanueva meanwhile denounced the "atrocious attacks" by communists against government forces for the past few weeks.
Villanueva said these recent attacks "only justify the legitimacy of the government action in placing the entire country under state of national emergency and extension of martial law in Mindanao."
He also said these violent incidents show "their insincerity about the peace process" and their "clear disregard" of the people's welfare. "Instead of contributing to serenity to give way for the Christmas celebration, which Filipinos dearly cherish and await, in contrast their offerings are malevolent."
Sison hits 'tyrant' Duterte
In his own statement, CPP founder Jose Maria Sison on Tuesday, December 25, slammed President Rodrigo Duterte for becoming "a tyrant escalating the oppression and exploitation of the people."
Sison said, "Having become a tyrant and a shameless instigator of mass murder and other grave human rights violations, Duterte is the abominable number one violator of human rights and is the precise target of the Filipino people's exercise of their sovereign right to free themselves from tyranny and to undertake all necessary actions to oust him from his position."
"Duterte and his followers seem to have forgotten that he received only 39% of the vote in the elections of 2016 and that the 61% that did not vote for him was the overwhelming majority," Sison added.
The Philippines has waged a 50-year fight against communist rebels, Asia's oldest insurgency.
Duterte, like previous Philippine presidents, initially held peace talks with the communists but shelved negotiations last year over deadly attacks against soldiers and police. – Paterno Esmaquel II, with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com