• CPP founder told president not to rush the Reds to peace talks
  • He said they want to study the gov’t’s unilateral ceasefire declaration before issuing their own
  • Duterte said ceasefire to be lifted if NPA do not explain ambush by 5 PM Saturday

MANILA, Philippines – Even as President Rodrigo Duterte warned the NPA to explain its ambush of government militiamen immediately, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison urged his former student not to rush them into peace talks.

According to the Netherlands-based Sison, Duterte cannot expect their side to lay down their arms immediately since they would need time to study the government’s unilateral ceasefire and terms of peace before that can happen.

“President Duterte should be patient and not expect quick surrenders from highly principled and experienced revolutionaries who have a growing mass base against the rotten ruling system of big compradors and landlords,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying. “It took at least three days for the Duterte government to make clear what is the content of its unilateral ceasefire order. The CPP and NDFP should be given enough time to study the implications and consequences of the GRP ceasefire order and what will soon be the unilateral ceasefire order.”

Among others, Sison pointed to the vagueness and inconsistencies in both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)’s suspension offensive military operations (SOMO) and the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s suspension of police operations (SOPO) which he said needs to be ironed out first.

“It would only be on July 26 that the SOMO of the AFP would be issued, with no clarity about many things, like no end yet of the ongoing AFP national campaigns against the NPA and also the occupation of Lumad communities, schools, health clinics and barangay halls,” Sison pointed out.  “Only on July 27 did the PNP issue a SOPO, which among other things, provided for  the continuance of “legal offensives” (i.e. the trumping of false charges of common crimes against people suspected of being connected to the NPA) in violation of JASIG, CARHRIHL and the Hernandez political offense doctrine.”

“The Central Committee of the CPP has to study these defective issuances of the AFP and PNP,” he stressed.

Duterte earlier warned the Reds he would lift the ceasefire order on 5 PM Saturday if they do not explain the NPA’s ambush of government militiamen in Davao del Norte earlier this week.