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CPP-NPA warns Duterte likely to be toppled

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MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is likely to be toppled by the communist rebels by October if you believe statements attributed to Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison.


 Duterte himself said Sison, his former professor, is “dreaming" or hallucinating.”


Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the Armed Forces of the Philippines laughed Sison’s statements, adding that the real reason peace talks with the communists were canceled was that the communist rebels were plotting since 2017 to oust President Duterte by October this year.


The CPP also cast doubt that President  will finish his term.


"In less than two years, he has become isolated domestically and internationally. Thus, there is high probability that Duterte will not be able to complete his six-year term of office and will be forced out of Malacañang by way of a surge in anti-fascist protest actions or some other means," the CPP said in a statement sent to reporters on the day Duterte marks his second year in office.


"Far weaker than the Marcos dictatorship, the US-Duterte regime will likely be ousted in a shorter period of time,” the CPP warned.


The party said the clamor for the President's ouster has been growing daily throughout the country due to his administration's "hostile moves."


“Everyday, the clamor for his ouster grows loud and reverberates across the country. In his drive to accelerate his bureaucrat capitalist plunder and establish his autocratic rule, his regime has exercised hostile moves that subjected the Filipino people to deepening crisis and oppression,” the CPP stressed.


It cited the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, war on drugs, anti-tambay operations, and counterinsurgency operation as among the ways Duterte has antagonized society.


“His regime has attacked the people in almost every level possible. He has alienated himself from the Filipino people, not only with his killing campaign, but also with his corruption in government contracts for infrastructure projects; his refusal to heed the demand of workers for wage increases and to end contractualization; his use of police force to suppress workers strikes; his contempt for millions of homeless people and threats of violence against them; his indifference to the plight of hundreds of thousands of jeepney drivers; his narcissism and misogyny; his bigotry against the religious; his war of destruction in Marawi and the continuing military offensives against the Moro people to seize control and establish dominance over the Bangsamoro; and so on,” the CPP said.


In a statement, Lorenzana said during the unilateral ceasefire from 2016 to January 2017, the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front called a People’s Congress during which they created a three-year plan that included the ouster of Duterte if he rejected a coalition government.


Duterte rejected the NDF demand for a coalition government in November 2017, calling it “pure nonsense.”


An ongoing review of all peace documents and agreements showed that they lay the foundation for power-sharing under a coalition government, Lorenzana added.


The Defense chief said the communists used the lull created by the ceasefire and peace talks to regain lost ground and rebuild their base, as well as to obtain the release of top party members who were detained.


“Based on the foregoing deliberate actions of the CPP-NPA-NDF, it is obvious that they are not sincere to talk peace and end the armed conflict. They are employing the revolutionary dual tactics to show semblance of peace but continually conducting violence and terror acts on the ground,” he added.


The communist rebels also failed to agree to the conditions set by Duterte for peace talks to resume, including a stop to its collection of “revolutionary taxes,” which the government brands as extortion. This, he said, showed that the communists were not sincere.


“They [CPP-NPA] have been tagged as a terrorist organization locally and internationally. They had their chance to work for peace when President Duterte appointed four of their members to the Cabinet. But they betrayed the government when they used their positions to advance the CPP’s revolutionary movement,” the DND chief added. 


The Justice Department, meanwhile, has restarted proceedings to declare more than 600 people linked to the CPP and NPA as terrorists.


“We will continue with our petition in the court, unless and until the President and the government peace panel direct us otherwise,” acting Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said following the termination of the peace talks between the government and the communist rebels set last week in The Netherlands.


The DOJ earlier filed before the Manila City Regional Trial Court last March a petition seeking to declare communist leaders and their armed members as terrorists.


The Justice Department submitted to the court a list of over 600 names, including those of CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison, former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, and UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, it tagged as terrorists.


Corpuz, a former chairman of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, was named UN special rapporteur in 2014. She decried her inclusion in the list as “baseless, malicious and irresponsible.”


She founded the indigenous peoples' advocacy and research group, Tebtebba Inc., and helped draft the Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the United Nations in 2007.


Ocampo is facing murder charges in the Manila RTC for his alleged involvement in the murder of suspected military spies in the communist movement in the 1980s.


Also in the listare alleged CPP leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultant Rafael Baylosis, former peace panel chief Luis Jalandoni, human rights lawyer and former Baguio City councilor Jose Molintas and Cordillerans Joanna Carino, Windel Farag-ey Bolinget, Sherwin De Vera, Beverly Sakongan Longid and Jeannette Ribaya Cawiding.


The petition was filed following the termination of the peace talks between the government and the CPP in November last year.


“The CPP and NPA are merely buying time by deceiving the Philippine government in entering into peace talks, while their main purpose is to mobilize all their forces in preparation for the people’s war aimed at overthrowing the duly constituted authority, seizing control of the Philippine government and imposing a totalitarian regime,” the DOJ petition stated.

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