The off and on relationship between President Rodrigo Duterte and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison is, to many, making a mockery of the peace process.
I say this because there are times when they laud and fatten each other’s ego, having experienced a teacher-student relationship, but most of the time they indulge in name calling and going after each other’s neck.
This time it is even worst because Sison is belittling and discrediting Duterte’s earnest and resolute war against illegal drugs that was engulfing the whole country already by calling the latter a “protector” of the drug trade.
What is even more despicable is that Sison also accused Duterte’s son, Paolo, as also being involved in the drug trade.
While it is true that Paolo and his brother-in-law, lawyer Manases Carpio, the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, were both accused of being involved in the smuggling of P6.4-billion worth of illegal drug (shabu) in the country, a fact-finding panel of the Office of the Ombudsman later cleared them of involvement.
So why say something offensive when it is water under the bridge already?
The question is, how serious really is Sison and his elk in establishing peace with the Duterte government?
Describing Duterte also as ‘the most effective ‘destabilizer of his own administration’ is ill-advised and idiotic thing to say knowing very well that the president not only has the backing of the people, including the police and military forces, but is dead serious in talking and settling peacefully with all the rebel groups in the country, the CPP included.
I understand that the formal resumption of peace talks was scheduled to proceed on June 28 in Norway, but it did not push through as Duterte said he wants more public consultations before returning to the negotiating table.
The postponement did not sit well, however, with Sison.
Perhaps Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was right in saying that Sison is “doomed to irrelevance” whether or not the latter decides to return to the Philippines.
“Whatever you do Mr. Sison you are doomed to irrelevance. You remain in the Netherlands and you will be forgotten because the President has decided with finality that the talks would be held in our country. You come back and you will end up in jail,” he said.
Indeed, what an opportunity lost.
Lorenzana pointed out that Philippines has progressed a lot despite Sison’s destabilization efforts in the past few decades. He also said that the CPP’s army, the New People’s Army (NPA), is surrendering in droves.
Sison seems to be reaping now the ignominious price of being old and petulant for staying too long in a foreign land and not facing the reality in his own land.