Play­ing with fire


IT is in­deed un­for­tu­nate that the peace talks are off again. But I am in­clined to agree with Se­nate Pres­i­dent Koko Pi­mentel that Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) made the right de­ci­sion this time.

I didn’t like that PRRD ear­lier re­sumed the talks even with­out an NPA cease­fire. But I liked that he was go­ing out on a limb to give peace a chance. Now that the CPP-NPA is de­mand­ing a coali­tion gov­ern­ment with threats of es­ca­lat­ing the war in the coun­try­side if their de­mand is not granted, he is right to de­cide he’s had enough of du­plic­ity.

CPP-NPA ide­ol­ogy in­cludes the tenet that “political power comes from the bar­rel of a gun.” Hence, they pooh-poohed the Edsa af­fair be­cause a peace­ful rev­o­lu­tion is sim­ply not in their books. Their main strat­egy is still to bring so­cial un­rest to the peak of a rev­o­lu­tion­ary sit­u­a­tion that only the bar­rel of a gun can put a lid on.

Thus, a cease-fire would be the only sure sign of sin­cer­ity on their part to go into peace talks. It is du­plic­i­tous of them to ini­tially agree to a cease-fire and al­low the talks to make a lot of head­way but then walk back on the cease-fire when it was time to make their most un­rea­son­able de­mand, that of a coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

Now, they con­tra­dict them­selves. They ac­cuse PRRD of be­ing a dic­ta­tor. Yet, it is they who de­mand (with threats of in­creased guerilla war in the coun­try­side) that PRRD agrees to a coali­tion gov­ern­ment with­out the Filipino peo­ple’s con­sent. So, who’s the dic­ta­tor? Ne­go­ti­at­ing by in­tim­i­da­tion, with threats of es­ca­lat­ing their guerilla war, does not come any­where near the def­i­ni­tion of sin­cer i t y.

It was, there­fore, naïve of the PEPP (Philip­pine Ec­u­meni­cal Peace Plat­form) to claim that both sides have shown “sin­cere will­ing­ness” to re­solve the con­flict. Again, the only sign of sin­cer­ity from the CPP-NPA (be­cause their ide­ol­ogy calls for ac­quir­ing political power by the bar­rel of a gun) is that they agree to a cease-fire for the du­ra­tion of the talks. It is not right for PEPP to blame PRRD for the stop­page of the peace talks when the CPP-NPA re­jects a cease-fire that alone can be a sign of their sin­cer­ity.

In their ob­ses­sion with PRRD’s down­fall, the “yel­lows” are giv­ing me­dia mileage to Joma Si­son’s rants and blam­ing PRRD’s volatile tem­per for the break-down of the talks. Their for­bears once be­trayed the peo­ple’s rev­o­lu­tion of An­dres Boni­fa­cio by agree­ing to the de­mands of the Amer­i­cans, thereby ce­ment­ing their po­si­tion of heir to the colo­nial mas­ter’s rul­ing power. Now they are cozy­ing up to a tra­di­tional en­emy just to bring PRRD down be­fore peo­ple’s eyes.

They are play­ing with rev­o­lu­tion­ary fire. They, not Duterte, are help­ing the CPP-NPA cre­ate a rev­o­lu­tion­ary sit­u­a­tion.

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