Philippine Daily Inquirer - - LETTERS - TY­RON JAY DAGUCAN, tjdagu­can@ya­

Fun­da­men­tally, the state has the right to self-preser­va­tion. It has the power to dis­pel any force or el­e­ment that ei­ther threat­ens the peace and se­cu­rity of the gen­eral pub­lic or im­pedes the per­for­mance of th­ese func­tions. It should not al­low any per­son or in­stru­men­tal­ity to pre­vail over it­self, es­pe­cially upon the ex­pense of the Filipino peo­ple.

With this in mind, I be­lieve that in view of the am­bush done by the NPA in North Cota­bato, Pres­i­dent Duterte’s call­ing off of the up­com­ing for­mal peace talks and pos­si­ble sign­ing of a bi­lat­eral cease­fire agree­ment is a good mea­sure to as­sert the gov­ern­ment’s power and dom­i­nance over the com­mu­nist rebel group.

I am old enough to wit­ness how the gov­ern­ment has, time and again, given the NPA nu­mer­ous chances to re­turn, take the path of right­eous­ness and ad­vance its causes in keep­ing with the tenets of peace and law­ful­ness. And yet, time af­ter time, th­ese rebels chose the un­scrupu­lous way, to the point where I don’t think they’re even fight­ing about some­thing no­ble (as they claim) any­more! They don’t de­serve yet an­other con­ces­sion un­less they can prove them­selves wor­thy of the gov­ern­ment’s con­sid­er­a­tion.

I re­ally find it ab­surd that while they ad­vance the idea of peace talks and agree­ment, here they are com­mit­ting atroc­i­ties all around the coun­try. I can’t be­lieve so great a con­tra­dic­tion could ex­ist for the long­est pe­riod of time. Hence, when they am­bushed the Pres­i­den­tial Se­cu­rity Group in North Cota­bato, I knew I was read­ing noth­ing but “the same old story.”

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