AFP junks rebel claims of 2 existing gov’t in PH

MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) dismissed claims made by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison that two governments — one reactionary and one revolutionary — exist in the country right now.

“Mr. Sison asserts that there were two governments in the Philippines — one being his so-called ‘revolutionary government’ led by the Communist Party of the Philippines. That’s untrue,” said AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Edgardo Año in a statement Wednesday.

He stressed there is only government existing in the Philippines and that is the one being administered right now by President Rodrigo Duterte who was elected by 16.6 million Filipino voters in May 2016.

“What Mr. Sison might be referring to by ‘revolutionary government’ that he leads in the CPP is that which exacts ‘revolutionary tax’ — a euphemism for extortion money,” Año pointed out.

“By ‘growth’ Mr. Sison might be referring to the wealth they amassed out of extortion money. Even in dividing the gains, the leaders of this group they call ‘revolutionary forces’ get the lion’s share while the ordinary NPA collectors get only the morsels,” the AFP chief stressed.

He also scored the rebels for just degenerating into a crime syndicate obsessed with squeezing money from private companies, businessmen, planters, and contractors with the threat of destroying properties and resources without regard to human lives should their demands not be met.

“They are mere bandits and terrorists posing as communists. Obviously, these communist terrorists failed, if not detached from reality, to see that the people favors the government of President Rodrigo Duterte with his so far highest net satisfaction rating of +66 percent per SWS Survey of 23-26 June 2017,” the AFP chief disclosed.

“Instead of blaming the AFP for the collapse of the peace negotiations, Mr. Sison should manifest his leadership and control of the CPP-NPA-NDF and rally them into halting the extortion and the attacks on soldiers that are on peace and development endeavors and to show their group’s sincerity to and trustworthiness for the peace talks,” he added. Priam Nepomuceno/