Interview with Prof. Jose Maria Sison: On Duterte threat to destroy leftist groups in Philippines

BY DELFIN T. MALLARI, Jr.
of Philippine Daily Inquirer, January 26, 2018
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/963959/duterte-threatens-to-go-after-left-leaning-organizations

DTM: Once again PRRD has declared that the peace talks are finished, while threatening to destroy the Leftist groups. In your experience as KM founder, the foremost militant group in the country, what is the effect of such threat? Does this generate fear and apprehension in your ranks. Or they become more daring in criticizing the Duterte government. Lastly, is there sufficient basis to call them communist front.

JMS: The Leftist groups that you refer to are patriotic and progressive mass organizations that express the people´s demands for national independence and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes represented by the incumbent president of the neocolonial republic.

It is wrong for Duterte to say sweepingly that they are all communists or they are mere facade of communists. They act legally and pursue an anti-imperialist and democratic line. And they constitute themselves as a broad united front of forces for national sovereignty and democracy against puppetry, tyranny and corruption. They include people from various walks of life and represent different schools or currents of thought and belief.

They have a just common cause and they are not at all frightened by threats and acts of military and police suppression by any regime, be it that of the late Marcos or current copycat Duterte. Instead, they become challenged and become even more resolute and militant in struggle and become stronger in the process.

When Kabataang Makabayan and other legal mass organizations went underground because of the Marcos fascist dictatorship, in big numbers their members joined the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People´s Army and helped these to spread nationwide and become stronger. Duterte is utterly stupid if he has not learned this historical lesson.

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January 24, 2018

DTM: With the renewed exchanges of scathing diatribes between Duterte with his military and you and CPP-NPA and with his renewed order to demolish the communist rebel forces, that your cause has already lost its relevance, are there any rooms left for the revival of the peace negotiations? Is it still possible at this point?

But if Duterte’s intention is to really destroy the revolutionary forces because he believes that the reopening of the peace talks is now useless, why is it that he does not apply the JASIG provision on the termination of the negotiation to make it official? How do you look at it? What could be his reason? Gusto pa rin niyang ituloy ang peace talks?

JMS: I think that he finds it useful to terminate the peace negotiations with the NDFP, slander the CPP and NPA as terrorist, keep in reserve the explicit proclamation of nationwide martial law, escalate Oplan Kapayapaan and Oplan Tokhang and utilize Oplan Pacific-Eagle-Philippines as his means of intimidation and mass murder to ensure the railroading, ratification and enforcement of his pseudo-federal constitution for the sham legitimation of his fascist dictatorship.

He finds it useless to negotiate peace with the NDFP because that would be running counter to his scheme of fascist dictatorship and using the CPP and NPA as scapegoats for a nationwide martial law proclamation. He has not followed the requirement in JASIG to give to the NDFP a written notice of termination 30 days in advance obviously to show contempt for the NDFP and the entire revolutionary movement as well as the peace process and the agreements that it has produced.

There is little or no possibility that he has deliberately not given the said notice of termination to keep slightly open the possibility of peace negotiations in case of his dire need in the face of rising mass discontent and the surge of the armed revolution.

DTM: So, there is no more reason for you to believe that there is still hope for the reopening of the peace nego? That the slim chance is left only as Duterte’s selfish avenue for pacification.

JMS: When he decides to negotiate, the people and the revolutionaries represented by the NDFP will most likely find it useless and unnecessary to negotiate with him to serve his selfish and desperate ends. By then, the mass movement and the armed revolution shall have succeeded to isolate and put him on the verge of ouster. The CPP has already pronounced publicly that it is easier to fight for the ouster of Duterte than to obtain any peace agreement satisfactory to the people.

There is no reason to expect that Duterte will soon agree to peace negotiations wih the NDFP. He should be held responsible for terminating the peace negotiations for the vile purpose of establishing his fascist dictatorship.

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