Sison: Duterte biggest drug protector in PH

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(L-R) Pres. Rody Duterte, Joma Sison

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 5) — The founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines is accusing President Rodrigo Duterte of being the biggest protector of the illegal drugs trade in the country.

"It turns out his own son is involved in drug smuggling and his son in law. It turns out Peter Lim is the kumpadre of Duterte. In fact I accuse Duterte of being the biggest protector of drug trade in the Philippines together with his son." Jose Maria Sison said.

Sison spoke harshly of his former student at an interview Thursday with members of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines. His allegations come after the government suspended peace talks with the reds once again.

The communist leader also accused Duterte of purposely destroying Marawi and cashing in on the reconstruction of the city.

"He and his cronies are pocketing money for the reconstruction of Marawi," he said.

However, Sison did not offer evidence to back his allegations.

Of the stalled peace talks, Sison said, "In the absence of a peace negotiation, it will take Duterte to kill more people."

Sison also believed there would be more guerilla offensives while the President was still in power.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana dared Sison to come home and see how much the country has progressed during his absence.

"Come back home Mr Sison and find out for yourself what your country and countrymen have become. Your country has progressed a lot despite your destabilization efforts for the past 49 years," Lorenzana said.

Government said it would only resume negotiations if the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front agreed to several conditions, among them, that the talks be held here in the Philippines.

But Sison rejected the conditions and said it would be better for the rebels to join a movement of patriotic and democratic forces to oust Duterte.

The talks were supposed to resume last June 28, but it was announced on June 14 that they had been scuttled as as more consultations with the public were needed.

Malacañang is now pushing for localized peace talks with communist rebels amid the setback in the negotiations.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said local government units should wait for the guidelines from the Cabinet security cluster before talking to members of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The Palace eyes to finalize the guidelines on July 12.

Roque, however, let out some harsh words against Sison, calling him "irrelevant" now that peace talks are still suspended.

Sison earlier said they would rather wait for a new government and participate in Duterte's ouster than talk peace with his administration.

Roque said the government is "laughing at" the supposed target of the rebels to oust Duterte by October.

CNN Philippines' Eimor P. Santos contributed to this report.