MANILA The military might not be able to wipe out the communist rebels within the next three years but they will most likely be reduced into a simple peace and order problem.
This was disclosed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana when sought to comment on Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder, Jose Maria "Joma" Sison's claims that the government will not be able to defeat the New People's Army within the next three years.
"We may not be able to finish them off completely to the last man but (we can) reduce them into purely police problem a simple peace and order problem of running after robbers and extortionists," the defense chief said in a message to the Philippine News Agency Friday.
Earlier, Sison said the government's reset of the deadline to neutralize the NPA by another three years will fail as communist fighters will intensify tactical offensives and mass work.
The NPA, the CPP's armed wing,is listed as terror organization by the United States and the European Union.
Lorenzana also chided Sison for claiming that they can defeat the government soon when they failed to do so in the past 50 years.
"What about Sison? They did not win in 50 years, what makes him think he could win within his remaining short time on this earth? He should accept the fact that his communistinspired rebellion and insurgency is a total failure. The blood of thousands of Filipinos who died in the altar of his discredited ideology is in his hands," the DND chief emphasized.
Earlier, Lorenzana said the ongoing localized peace talks, which is proving successful for the government, is the contrast of what was achieved in the negotiations held abroad, which is what Sison wanted to continue.
"Ang gusto kasi ni Joma the same pa rin (What Joma wants is the same) we go abroad, we go to Norway, with the intercession of a third country, magusapusap dun (we will talk there). Well, sinabi naman ni President nung last year na wag na dun, umuwi ka na lang dito(Last year, the President said he doesn't want the talks held there. Come to the Philippines), we can talk here. So, we support 'yung peace talks dito (the peace talks here)," Lorenzana said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency