Thursday, March 01, 2012

Defense chief laughs off reports Joma Sison offered Cabinet post

MANILA, Philippines—Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Thursday denied reports that President Benigno Aquino offered Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison a Cabinet post if he returns to the country.
In a chance interview after the first quarter nationwide earthquake drill, Gazmin said that he has not verified the reports adding that the sources of the reports were “not reliable.”
“I have not verified the information, or their sources of information are not reliable, they took it hook line and sinker,” Gazmin said.
When asked for a categorical answer on the veracity of the reports, Gazmin said: “Tsismis nga eh (They’re just rumors).”
He also urged the media to think twice before publishing similar reports that are of national interest.
“Sa mga ganitong isyu na seryoso, na makakaapekto sa national interest, pag-aralan muna siguro na bago magsalita siguruhin na tama iyong sinasabi (When it comes to serious issues like this that may affect national interest, it should be studied first before issuing any statement, make sure the reports are true),” the defense secretary said.
Sison, the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the political arm of the CCP, has been living in Utrecht in the Netherlands since 1987 after he was released from prison by then newly installed President Corazon Aquino in the spirit of national reconciliation.
Sison, in a telephone interview, denied that he has returned to the Philippines following unconfirmed reports that he was offered a government post circulated recently.
8:04 pm | Thursday, March 1st, 2012

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