Is peace with communists still a priority?
A peace negotiation, just like any other form of dispute resolution, requires unified and specified objective — a central goal — between or among the parties involved. It is important that both sides know the real and indispensable issues in order to arrive to a complete resolution, which the parties themselves formulated independently and would be willing to adopt and undertake. Thus, it is to be noted that these parties, no matter how complex or adverse their claims or dispositions may be, must be on “the same page.”
In view of presidential spokesman Harry Roque’s call for “sincerity” on the part of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA), everyone should take note of the aforesaid principle and its necessity in any form of agreement, negotiation, or even transaction.
In the almost five decade-long conflict between the government and these communist rebels, a number of attempts have been made in order to seal off differences and work on practicable solutions. However, none of these “attempts” ever materialized.
Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if every undertaking failed. This is because while the government has “peace” as its “main course” or menu on the peace table, these rebels have something else in mind. Actually, with the ongoing ambushes and extortion of these Maoist rebels, it is more than apparent that they aren’t just on a different page — they may be reading a different book after all.
Before calling forth the CPP and NPA to the negotiating table, their true intentions must be carefully and cautiously ascertained. Even though it could just be my supposition, it is nonetheless not impossible that “peace” is not anymore on the communist rebels’ list of priorities. Worse, it may have never been. For one, nowhere in their endless ambushes on government troops and security forces could I possibly derive a veritable conclusion that the members of the CPP-NPA are inclined to work on peace and unity. Neither could their extortion of private citizens and communities, as well as their recruitment of innocent child warriors, show even a tinge of sincerity, which our government has repeatedly believed this communist group would be capable of giving.
Now that Joma Sison is old and would soon be adjudged by our Creator, it is highly suggested for the CPP-NPA to put down their arms, surrender, and relive their once mundane yet peaceful lives as a sign of their receptiveness on the resumption of peace talks.
After all, their sincerity on peace negotiations will not just benefit the country and our fellowmen — they too shall benefit from it.
ATANACIO QUINTIN, firstname.lastname@example.org
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