Palace: Sison's attacks on admin's W. PH Sea policy 'lamentable,' 'pathetic'

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Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (L); President Rodrigo Duterte (R)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 9) — Malacañang has fired back at Jose Ma. Sison's criticism of President Rodrigo Duterte's policy on the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement Sunday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, "We find it lamentable and pathetic that Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairperson Jose Ma. Sison resorted to ad hominem attacks in criticizing the President’s policy on the West Philippine Sea."

Panelo added Sison's basis for criticism was an article written in 2016, which he said proves the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman was "out of touch" with the current happenings in the country.

In a statement posted on the website of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) website Saturday, Sison said, "Former Solicitor General Hilbay is correct that the Duterte regime has already treasonously and stupidly made a waiver of Philippine sovereign rights by falling silent on these and putting these at par with the false claims of China in the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) on the joint China-Philippine joint exploration and development of the oil and gas resources under the West Philippines Sea.

Sison also said "China wants an explicit and categorical surrender of Philippine sovereign rights to China."

READ: EXCLUSIVE: MOU for talks on joint oil exploration 'without prejudice' to PH, China legal positions

Panelo challenged Sison to return to the country to see for himself the "independent foreign policy course that the President has charted, including a cautious, pragmatic, and diplomatic stance on how to deal with the favorable arbitral ruling."

 

He added Duterte is in the best position to make decisions on international matters as he has a wealth of information at his disposal.

"The President has a wealth of information at his disposal, which is not readily available to ordinary citizens or foreigners hence he is in the best position to decide on international matters that affect the welfare of the nation, which includes steering clear of a potential warfare with China and maintaining constructive dialogues with our giant neighbor through a bilateral consultation mechanism (BCM) paving way for 29 agreements that would benefit our nation and our people," he said.

Panelo then said Sison "must accept the reality that his dream of wresting political power from the duly constituted authorities has come to an end."