THE Philippine government will not back down in its campaign against members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), Malacañang warned on Monday amid the threat of CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison that the rebel group would kill one soldier per day to force the government to revive the peace talks.
“We will not kneel. What does he think of our Armed Forces? That we will not push back? Watch us,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said.
“There is no difference in the position of the NPA because even during the height of the peace talks, they were killing soldiers. What’s new?” he added.
Col. Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman, said Sison’s threats only shows the “true colors” of the communists.
“Such threat will not diminish our resolve to further enhance our services especially peace and development efforts; and infrastructure development particularly in the countryside,” Arevalo said in a statement.
“To live in constant danger is part of the sworn duty of every serviceman. With or without threat to the lives of our soldiers, our troops will be there for our people in the communities where they are most needed,” he added.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Sison’s statement cleared battle lines.
“What else is new? They have been killing our men in greater [number]before. That’s good so that the battle lines are clear.”
According to Sison, the NPA has the “advantage” since it enjoys the support of the people and can launch ambushes and raids “by surprise.”
“In sharp contrast, the reactionary troops are hated by the people, are exposed to public view and are practically deaf and blind in operations against the NPA most of the time,” he said.
Roque warned Sison to stop threatening the government.
“The President does not want any blood to drop but he [Sison] should not threaten the government like he controls the Philippines. The government had peace talks because we want to let all Filipinos live in peace. But they did not want to, [they broke ceasefires].”
“Even during peace talks and even if they were given free passes, all expenses paid trips to Norway, they continued killing our soldiers,” Roque said.
The peace talks between the CPP/NDF and the government were cancelled in November last year.