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.