‘Bloody rebellion part of problem’
In the run-up to the 47th anniversary of its founding, the New People’s Army escalated its campaign of violence, as if to remind the Filipino people that it is still a force to be reckoned with, capable of inflicting harm on its perceived enemies—that is, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, and any person or entity that refuses to pay what it calls “revolutionary” and “permit to campaign” taxes.
The violence perpetrated by the NPA is totally out of tune with the desire of the Filipino people to live in peace. We have just come out of the Holy Week with its message of peace and redemption for all mankind. And we are entering the intensity of the campaign period preparatory to exercising our right to elect the next leaders of our country come May.
Our people deserve their right to fair, free and peaceful elections, but this is not possible under the regime of arson, extortion and murder being imposed by the NPA in the countryside.
We invite the NPA and its mother organization, the Communist Party of the Philippines, to heed the call of the Filipino people to end their violent struggle against the government and discuss the issues that divide us in a sincere, honest and peaceful dialogue. There is no issue that cannot be resolved between well-meaning Filipinos who are determined to secure a better life for all our people.
After 47 years of armed struggle, the CPP and NPA must realize that, in spite of their avowed intentions to resolve the ills of society, their bloody rebellion has become part of the problem.
We therefore invite our armed brethren to be part of the restoration of democracy that we regained in 1986 via a peaceful struggle against an entrenched dictatorship. Just imagine what we, the Filipino people, united in our desire for peaceful change, can accomplish if we work on our issues jointly and creatively, in peace.
—ALEXANDER A. PADILLA, chair,
PH gov’t peace negotiating panel
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.