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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Peace talks with CPP-NDF an exercise in futility

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“At least, the Philippines can be assured, and hopefully so, that 2024 will be a better year than last year”

The openness of President Marcos Jr. to possible peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines and its political arm, the National Democratic Front, has raised alarm bells in that no less than Vice President Sara Duterte, concurrent education secretary, has said it’s like “coming to an agreement with the devil,” Santa Banana!

Coming from a member of the Cabinet, an alter ego of the President, Duterte should not have said that. An alter ego of the President who doesn’t agree with the President would well resign.

I have my own thoughts about peace talks with the CPP and the NDF, but I can only recall that when CPP founder Joma Sison was alive, the government had many peace talks with the home-grown insurgents, which only resulted with the CPP and NDF using them only to propagandize their movement.

For one thing, those peace talks of the government and the communist movement were almost always held at the Netherlands, where Sison was then based, with his adviser and consultant Luis Jalandoni.

Those peace talks were an attempt of the CPP and the NDF to show to the world the insurgency movement was an international movement, which is of course farthest from the truth.

I don’t know under what conditions BBM had agreed to the planned peace talks since, as always, the communists have pre-conditions like releasing peace consultants and some 800 communists from detention still awaiting trial.

As I said, peace talks with the CCP and NDF are not exactly “an agreement with the devil,” as the Vice President had commented.

But, to me, such is an exercise in futility.

In the first place, what could peace talks with the communists achieve now that according to findings on the movement, many of them are nothing more than bandits terrorizing the countryside?

Besides, according to findings by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, many do not have a real ideology and are divided for lack of a leader after Joma Sison died.

The communists have been so reduced in number after Sison died that now only some 1,500 to 1,800 fully armed New People’s Army are making trouble in the countryside and at times confronting the AFP in fights and clashes.

The insurgents who have become bandits continue to terrorize the countryside, taking advantage of the people in rural areas and telling them why they continue to be in poverty, and why there’s much inequality in the Philippines.

It’s all for these reasons why I believe peace talks with the CCP and the NDF would be an exercise in futility

Hopeful

I am hopeful for 2024 to be a better year.

I am always an optimist, seeing the glass half-full rather than half-empty.

The country was down on its knees with the inflation rate reaching up to 8 percent, making President Marcos Jr. sleepless at night with prices of commodities like onions soaring to dizzying heights to as much as P750 per kilo, and, worse of all, with the price of rice, the main staple of Filipinos, going up to as much as P50 to P60 per kilo, so much so the President had to issue an executive order capping the price of well-milled rice to P45 per kilo and ordinary milled rice to P40 per kilo.

We also knew that BBM had to continue to be the secretary of agriculture in an effort to also stabilize prices and ensure food security, amidst the problem of hoarders and profiteers manipulating prices which hit the poor very hard.

Truly, as the year 2024 begins, another bg threat comes up — El Nino, that could cause drought and adversely affect agriculture production, mainly rice production.

It’s for this reason that rice imports from India and Taiwan had been done way ahead to serve as buffer stock during the lean months of rice production.

But the adverse effects of the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas Wars were beyond our control, Santa Banana!

At least, the Philippines can be assured, and hopefully so, that 2024 will be a better year than last year, my gulay!

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