Manila Bulletin

Clash of ‘peace’

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TBy HE high the­ory is the CPPNPA-NDF is tired of war and ready to talk peace with gov­ern­ment to end sev­eral decades of in­sur­gency. The Shakespere­an tragedy, how­ever, is cap­tured in the pasted posters (photo head­line, Manila Bul­letin) in Davao City: “CPP-NPA-NDF are ter­ror­ist, ex­tor­tion­ist, and anti-peace.” Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte has called the com­mu­nist group “ter­ror­ists” and re­leased the AFP for “all-out war.”

Malacañang had given the group the prover­bial “ben­e­fit of the doubt” when Pres­i­dent Duterte launched the peace talks. He al­lowed, as “peace of­fer­ing,” the re­lease of in­car­cer­ated NDF con­sul­tants. He ap­pointed to the cab­i­net Com­mu­nist Party mem­bers – a high-wa­ter mark for these par­ti­sans. The push of the CPP lead­er­ship was “coali­tion gov­ern­ment.” DU30 gave peace its best hope, but as the Pres­i­dent has pub­licly cited, friend­ship ends when the fate of the na­tion is in­volved.

Part of the prob­lem is a clash of “peace.” The CPP ide­ol­ogy as­serts peace comes only af­ter armed revo­lu­tion. A hard­line Maoist thought: “We are ad­vo­cates of the abo­li­tion of war, we do not want war, but war can only be abol­ished through war, and in or­der to get rid of the gun, it is nec­es­sary to take up the gun.” The clash of peace is about sin­cer­ity vs. the ide­ol­ogy of revo­lu­tion. Com­mu­nists by na­ture are “ad­vo­cates of the om­nipo­tence of revo­lu­tion­ary war…to cre­ate a demo­cratic repub­lic” (Mao Ze­dong).

Here lies the great di­vide. The con­flict is over the con­cepts of “war and revo­lu­tion as the ex­ten­sion of pol­i­tics” to at­tain “peace” and demo­cratic cen­tral­ism. The Repub­lic wants peace, to halt the car­nage, unite the na­tion, and achieve progress. The CPP-NPA prefers war, while its NDF un­der­ling with left­ist sup­port­ers, pushes for peace talks. Part of the cal­cu­lated chaos of talk-talk then war, “War is the high­est form of strug­gle for re­solv­ing con­tra­dic­tions…our goal is to make the en­emy pas­sive.” An ide­o­log­i­cal tem­plate for subterfuge – gain­ing pro­tracted ad­van­tage, for ex­am­ple, abo­li­tion of RA 1700, the Anti-Sub­ver­sion Law; Cory Aquino re­leas­ing Si­son af­ter Marcos jailed him, etc. It is a dogged pur­suit of a non-ne­go­tiable end-state -- a Com­mu­nist regime.

Pres­i­dent Ra­mon Magsaysay warned: “Be­tween our way of life and com­mu­nism, there can be no peace, no par­a­lyz­ing co­ex­is­tence, no gray neu­tral­ism. There can only be con­flict, to­tal and with­out rec­on­cil­i­a­tion…I shall use all the forces at my com­mand to the end that. The sov­er­eign author­ity of this gov­ern­ment shall be re­spected and main­tained. There can be no com­pro­mise with dis­loy­alty.”

If the CPP-NPA is a ter­ror­ist group, there must be a chief ter­ror­ist. Gov­ern­ment can pur­sue this track in­ter­na­tion­ally.

PER­SONAL: Con­grat­u­la­tions to PN Re­servist Com­modore Glo­ria Ju­mamil Mer­cado for her well-de­served pro­mo­tion. Ku­dos to her many out-reach/char­i­ta­ble pro­grams.

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