From The Standard (Jul 30): Duterte calls Reds 'extortionists'
The communist New People's Army has deteriorated from mere “ideologues” to “extortionists,” Malacañang said on Saturday as it hits back against Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison, who the Palace said seemed to be out of touch with his people on the ground.
“Mr. Sison’s remarks only highlight his apparent disconnect with their men and women on the ground who seem to have deteriorated from ideologues to plain criminals and extortionists,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.
The Palace official noted that many of the communist cadres were left to die in the mountains while Sison was living a “soft life” in Europe.
“It is unfortunate he needs to be coaxed to return to his homeland, while his wounded comrades in the mountains in the Philippines are left dying only for our soldiers to rescue and accord medical care,” said Abella.
“Mr. Sison apparently took to the soft life in Europe leaving his comrades to fend for themselves. No wonder they are only too eager now to demand their unearned portions,” he added.
Sison, who had gone on self-exile to The Netherlands after the 1986 People Power uprising, reiterated that the “taxes collected by the revolutionary movement remains in the Philippines for the benefit of the Filipino people and revolutionary forces.”
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella
“The worst that the reactionary government does with its tax collection is to feed the corruption of the government officials, to finance the military, police and paramilitary for controlling and suppressing the people, to enter into lopsided agreements and contracts with foreign countries and corporations at the expense of the Filipino people and to pay for the most fraudulent and onerous foreign loans,” he said.
On Friday, the word war between him and President Rodrigo Duterte continued as they trade barbs against each other on Friday, with the President daring the Netherlands-based rebel leader to return to the country and fight his war.
Sison, however, lashed back at Duterte, saying that if the revolutionary movement “deems [his return] necessary,” he will do so “to fight the Duterte puppet regime of US imperialism.”
Irked by the continued collection of revolutionary tax by the New People’s Army, the President last Thursday night said he is directing the Armed Forces and the police not to use the word “revolutionary tax,” saying that it is clearly extortion.
“That is not a proper word for us to adopt. Kasi ang gobyerno na ito, may taxation. So, huwag ninyong tapatan ng revolutionary tax,” Duterte said.
“Use the word “extortion,” “hold-upper,” or “kidnapper,” the President added, warning that he will file cases against them based on the Revised Penal Code.