Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
There is reason in what Malacañang has announced, that the government will only resume peace talks with communist rebels if they stop their armed attacks. The past few months have seen a series of attacks, often on innocent people, where fatalities were recorded. In some of them, some people, either military men or police officers, and even civilians were held captive.
Isn’t it that talks had been taking place in the past year that had elicited great hopes for the peace everybody is longing for, may finally be attained? And yet, despite the supposedly encouraging results of the exchanges as reported, ambushes and attacks have also been reported as well, as if there had not been any attempt on the part of the government to see eye-to-eye with the rebel representatives.
As disclosed by Malacañang recently, however, the rebel group has been asking for so many pre-conditions, particularly by the National Democratic Front that is supposed to represent the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army in these talks.
Sometimes such developments make it appear as if, in the case of these three groups, the right hand does not know, or refuses to comply with what the left is doing.
One is also led to wonder if there is any sincerity at all in their act of agreeing to come to the negotiating table while expressing desires to also end the long-drawn-out conflict that has been crippling our development, especially in the countrysides.
Reports say the rebels, as preconditions, are demanding for the abolition of such projects as the conditional cash transfer, the Oplan Bayanihan, and other upgrading activities intended for the benefit of the underprivileged in the country.
Sadly, it looks as if peace talks will not be the way towards solution to the problem of insurgency in this country. The way all those demands sound, it is as if what the rebel groups want is to dictate all the terms, without assurance of keeping their own part as far as the talks are concerned. Are they expecting a complete capitulation from the duly constituted government of this country?
Of course that can never be, because our people believe in the principles of democracy that they have adopted and will continue to live by in this country.*