From the Manila Times (Feb 8): Sison backs down in ‘word war’ with Duterte, admits he can’t order NPA attacks on troops
EXILED Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison backed down from his “word war” with President Rodrigo Duterte and clarified a previous boast about how the New People’s Army (NPA) could kill one soldier a day, saying he was not authorized to give such an order.
“I have always made clear that I am not in any position to issue any kind of order to the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People´s Army,” Sison said in a statement on Thursday.
“Certainly, I cannot order them to launch any offensive campaign or operations against the [Armed Forces of the Philippines],” he added.
Sison said his statement about the offensive capability of the NPA was in response to a question by a reporter on what the military response of the CPP-NPA would be regarding the cancellation of peace talks between the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Philippine government.
The NPA and the NDF are the armed and political components of the CPP, the umbrella organization of the communist movement in the Philippines.
“I simply said that the CPP had already publicly announced its order to the NPA to intensify tactical offensives against the AFP,” Sison said.
“When asked next about the offensive capability of the NPA, I gave a minimalist estimate of at least one enemy soldier dead everyday in 17 regions or 510 enemy troops dead every month (17 times 30 days),” he said. “Actually, a higher estimate can be easily made if you use as multiplier 100 guerrilla fronts.
He reiterated that he “could not order” the NPA to “kill anyone,” saying that he would have to advise the NDF to recommend first to the CPP and NPA to respect the immunity guarantees of government peace negotiators, as indicated under the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig), which was signed by both the government and the NDF.
“I am quite different from Duterte who violates the Jasig and boasts of his brutal and bloodthirsty character by threatening to kill five NPA suspects (male or female) for every AFP soldier killed in battle,” Sison said.