THOUGH PRESIDENT Aquino has admitted that peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF) will be harder now, the hopes for a new round of peace talks have not dimmed a bit. And maybe (who knows?), the NDF will agree to go back to the negotiating table soon. Such optimism is shared by everyone, except the NDF which has said that it will not talk peace as long as there are “uncertainties,” insisting on the full application of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees and of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law for NPA peace consultants facing criminal charges.
NDF spokesman Luis Jalandoni and his group have also said that the government may apply pressure for them to resume the peace talks, especially now that it has signed with the MILF a framework peace agreement.
Again, Jalandoni is sounding like Nur Misuari who refuses to see the opportunity of attaining peace in our time. As Murad Ebrahim of the MILF said, he is tired of fighting; so are the people. This may be the time for NPA rebels, who have been fighting for as many years (more than four decades) as the Muslim separatists have, and who are as tired of fighting and living their lives as fugitives, to seize peace. This may also be true for some of their leaders.
There is hope for peace, and the Bangsamoro example gives the Filipino nation even more hope that the CPP/NPA/NDF will at last say “Yes!” to peace.
—JONVIE D. ZARAGOZA,