Esperon fed 'false information' on NPA hit list — Palace
In this Sept. 5, 2019 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte shares a light moment with National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and some officials from the security sector during the Joint Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police Command Conference at the Malacañan Palace.
Presidential Photo/King Rodriguez

Esperon fed 'false information' on NPA hit list — Palace

Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - December 23, 2019 - 5:35pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte's inclusion in a so-called hit list of the Communist Party of the Philippines' armed wing New People's Army is "fake news," according to presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon earlier said the president and other Cabinet officials are included in the list.

Panelo, however, claimed that Esperon was fed false information as CPP founder Jose Maria Sison denied this already.

"Let me put it this way: The communist rebels will always want this government to fall; that is precisely the purpose by which this organization has been conceived from the very beginning," Panelo said.

The Malacañang spokesman added that the government is prepared for any move of the communist group who "want to eliminate all the officials running this government."

Earlier this month, Presidential Security Group chief Brig. Gen. Jose Niembra said it was no surprise that Duterte was included in the supposed hit list.

The PSG chief said it was already expected that Duterte was on top of the NPA hit list but they are implementing heightened security measures to ensure the president's safety.

“We have received information that the president is the number one target, not only of the CPP-NPA but of the drug lords and syndicate groups,” Niembra said in a Malacañang briefing last week.

The CPP, meanwhile, denied the existence of an NPA hit list and accused Esperon of sowing intrigue to sabotage the planned resumption of peace talks.

"While the NPA keeps no 'hit list' supposedly with Esperon’s name in it, the people will not fail to remember his many crimes and may seek justice with their revolutionary army," the CPP said in a statement.

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