Communists offer coalition with anti-Arroyo forces
First posted 02:26pm (Mla time) Feb 26, 2006
COMMUNIST guerrillas waging a 37-year rebellion in the Philippines have offered a tactical alliance with opposition forces and soldiers seeking to overthrow President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the founder of the Maoist insurgency said Sunday.
Netherlands-based Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison said Arroyo's assumption of emergency powers on Friday, which she said was necessary to quell an alleged coup attempt, provided all anti-Arroyo factions an opportunity to work together.
"To oust the Arroyo regime, it suffices for the legal patriotic, progressive and other anti-Arroyo forces and their allies among the active and retired military and police forces to do their best in mustering their own respective following," he said in a statement.
These forces should then conduct "gigantic mass actions in the vicinity of the presidential palace and key points in the national capital region and in the provinces," while the CPP's 8,000-member New People's Army (NPA) steps up attacks against the military in the rural areas.
Sison said the CPP-NPA "are desirous of a revolutionary transition council to replace the Arroyo regime."
He said segments of the military and police who oppose Arroyo could avoid guerrilla attack "by raising a red flag or the Philippine flag with red side up and allowing the troops to wear the red arm bands."
Arroyo has justified her emergency powers by saying the government had uncovered a conspiracy by the CPP-NPA and certain "military adventurists" to bring down her government.
A leftist legislator and two retired paramilitary officers have been detained while police raided the offices of Manila's opposition newspaper The Daily Tribune and seized some documents. Military and police spokesmen said more arrests are planned.