Communist rebels are planning to oust President Rodrigo Duterte by October, the Armed Forces of the Philippines claimed, as it expressed support for the total termination of peace negotiations.
AFP spokesman Colonel Edgard Arevalo said Tuesday that the ouster plot was allegedly contained in documents recovered by soldiers and confirmed by testimonies of communist rebels who have surrendered.
“There is such plan that [was hatched] during the period that there was a lull in the operations because of the ongoing ceasefire,” Arevalo said last Tuesday.
Arevalo refused to disclose where and when the documents were recovered, but made assurances these were “credible” pieces of information from surrendered members of the New People’s Army.
He also declined to enumerate the measures being done to preempt the supposed plan of the communist rebels, saying that such operational details could not be divulged.
“Operational details na ‘yan ano but what we can tell you is we have adopted necessary measures to ensure na they will not succeed, they should not succeed,” Arevalo said.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) crafted a 3-year plan to advance their revolutionary movement, which includes starting the “Oust Duterte Movement” if the chief executive “will not agree to a coalition government.”
The Defense chief said the 3-year plan was crafted in two occasions during the “last unilateral ceasefire covering the period 2016 until January 2017,” wherein the CPP-NPA-NDF held the largest and 2nd People’s Congress from October to November 2016 and the Central Committee Plenum in December 2016.
“By January 2017, the National Military Commission of the [CPP-NPA-NDF] reinforced the earlier plenum Agenda. Using the lull in the fighting because of the ceasefire they were able to consolidate, recover their lost ground/mass base and expand their influence,” Lorenzana said.
According to Lorenzana, it was in May 2017 when the communist rebels “formally launched the Oust Duterte operation” that will culminate in October this year.
Meanwhile, as agreed upon during backchannel talks, the supposed resumption of formal negotiations was set to proceed on June 28 in Norway.
A stand-down agreement was signed on June 8 and was supposed to take effect on June 21, a week before the opening of formal talks.
But the talks' resumption was aborted because Duterte said he needed more time and more consultations with the people.
Enraged by Duterte's move, CPP founding chairman and NDF's chief political consultant Jose Maria (Joma) Sison said it was better to oust Duterte.
But later, Joma softened his stance saying that talks was still possible.
However, the military has openly expressed support for the idea of abandoning the peace talks. —LBG, GMA News