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Philippines
Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Para que pa?

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“Those who are tired of fighting government in a futile ‘war’ can always avail themselves of amnesty, including the dinosaurs living in the embrace of their European ideology-driven polyannas”

First, our government declares amnesty for those who want to lay down their arms and rejoin society’s mainstream.

Exceptions will be for heinous crimes, which would need to be dealt with by our justice system. Fine.

Several administrations, with mixed results, declared amnesties for rebellion, whether Cory or FVR, PNoy or Duterte.

Still the rebellion of the NDF-NPA-CPP persisted. It is now the world’s longest rebellion on record.

True, the roots of rebellion derive from social injustice, resulting in massive poverty which, truth to tell, government has not addressed properly through decades of trying.

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At the prodding of well-meaning third parties, mostly European, we have parlayed with NDF-NPA-CPP leaders and ‘consultants’ in several peace ‘talks.’

The result has been ‘talk, talk, talk and more talk,’ with demands impossible for our government to meet.

So now the administration has declared amnesty once more.

Truth is, there are fewer and fewer armed communists, “terrorists” we tagged them.

Besides, even the previous administration which gave up on them after enticing them to join his incipient Cabinet, has declared amnesty, and through the NTF-ELCAC, directed resources towards the countryside havens where the rebels lurk, with the end in view of getting combatants to surrender arms and rejoin the mainstream.

We have always maintained that there should be no unthinkable thoughts or ideologies within our democratic space. Thus was repealed the Anti-Subversion Law, with a military man as our president at the time.

We have opened up our electoral system to professed ‘leftists’ and some of them sit, and are in fact, despite diminished numbers, most active in Congress.

But no sooner has the ink dried on the presidential proclamation of amnesty than the same administration sent its officials to Oslo, and agreed to peace talks once more.

Para que pa?

After the death of Joma Sison who was in exile in Utrecht for half his life, and after the death or capture of its ideologues and leaders, who now lead the NDF, has yet to be truly determined.

So who are we to parley with?

Former priest turned rebel leader Luis Jalandoni?

Can he control the local armed forces of the NPA which our government, the “pakialamerong” US of A and their allies in the EU have declared “terrorists?”

Isn’t amnesty enough?

Or do we just want to talk, and talk some more, knowing these are bound to be fruitless, so government officials can hie off to air-conditioned Oslo, one of the world’s most expensive capitals every now and then?

Or because talking and talking are the cut-and-dried formulae counseled by the countries we now court in our foreign policy?

When will we ever learn?

Unable to repress her feelings, the vice-president, defying traditional conventions, openly questioned her president’s decision to open talks once more, with those whom she derisively but politically incorrect labeled as “devils.”

To the simple and uncomplicated minds of most people, who I suppose I read properly, para que pa? And the president’s outspoken senator-sister chimes in her objection to this move.

With amnesty, those who are tired of fighting government in a futile ‘war’ can always avail themselves of amnesty, including the dinosaurs living in the embrace of their European ideology-driven polyannas.

Come back to the Philippines you profess to love (which love I grant as sincere), and fight for your advocacies within the fold of law and democratic space.

Even the politically hibernating Ping Lacson, a former police director and senator for decades, who, while of the right, has ‘seen it all’ points to the incongruity of it all.

We do not deal with terrorists, n’e c’est pas?, Lacson asks, and adds, so why another round of peace talks?

Unless it is because foreigners have been interfering, as they always do, and we always acquiesce, whatever for?

Stick to the amnesty, make the enticements more attractive even, give a final deadline, and make that stick.

Thereafter, let the full force of law and order run after those who refuse the amnesty offered.

Let government, civilian and military alike, and most particularly our pork-crazed legislators, seriously address the three main concerns of the masses: enough affordable food on their tables; good education for their children; and a healthcare system that ensures them from the pain and costs of illness.

Just these three, and see the communist-led rebellion wither in due time.

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