By ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
MANILA – The chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which has been engaged in on-and-off peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) since 1986, has derided new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Lt. Gen. Victor Ibrado for “daydreaming” about finishing off the communist “insurgency” by 2010, when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is expected to step down after completing her term.
Early last week, military spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. said in a radio interview that Ibrado has ordered the intensification of operations against the communist-led New People’s Army (NPA) to ensure that the “insurgency” is defeated by the time Arroyo finishes her term.
“We will speed up the tempo of our operations,” Brawner had said. “This is the last minute. When he [Ibrado] visits the camps, he tells them that all our soldiers should feel this sense of urgency to carry out this mission, to beat the insurgency by 2010.
“Lieutenant General Ibrado believes we can do it… with our existing resources,” Brawner also said. “It’s just a matter of refocusing our resources. We just have to look at our programs and provide all the support to those on the front.”
Prof. Jose Maria Sison, however, has dismissed these claims as part of what he called “psy-war fakeries of the reactionary armed forces,” adding that these claims “are being belied by the intensifying tactical offensives of the NPA on a nationwide scale.”
Sison also berated Malacañang for claiming to be interested in pursuing the peace negotiations even as bounties have been put up for him and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) spokesman Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal in connection with the killing of journalist Nelson Nadura in 2003. He said this only shows that the GRP is negotiating in “bad faith” and is engaging in “deception.”
Sison tackled these and other matters related to the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations in an e-mail interview with Bulatlat. Following is the full text of the interview:
Bulatlat: What can you say about AFP Chief Lt. Gen. Victor Ibrado’s statements about finishing off the “insurgency” by the time Arroyo ends her term in 2010?
Jose Maria Sison (JMS): Like all previous quickie chiefs of staff of the reactionary armed forces, General Ibrado is trying to score propaganda points in the mass media. He is daydreaming about finishing off the revolutionary movement of the people before his short term or the Arroyo regime ends. The public is very aware of the psy-war fakeries of the reactionary armed forces. These are being belied by the intensifying tactical offensives of the NPA on a nationwide scale.