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Peace red flags

PEACE must be gained with four hands shaking. It is counsel from the vista strewn over several decades of “sincere talks” by too many Administrations over unending carnage of soldiers, policemen, and civilians, negotiating with sclerotic ideologues who define freedom by polemical intolerance and totalitarian regimes. There are exceptions, a Ramon Magsaysay Sr., Ferdinand Marcos, an Erap Estrada, and the outstretched and bold pursuit of peace under the Duterte Administration.

Ferdinand Marcos ascribed to “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer”. Suspected “left-leaning” personalities found their way into his cabinet or to the Palace so he would be appraised of their thinking on what was a foreign copied evolution of plotted coincidences. Under President Rodrigo Duterte, the sincerity for lasting peace is in establishing the “moral predicate” by appointing, sources confirm, “far-left” partisans in the cabinet.

This sets the tenor for him to warn the very same group with the moral ascendancy of, “Do you really want peace?

Because we can continue the war if you wish”. While the President has openly acknowledged being a socialist, the reality is, he is not a Marxist. Both may share some views on society etc. however by history, the latter is utilitarian in motive, and both are conflicted on certain polemic definitions and approaches. Given certain cabinet members tactfully remain mum, their loyalties with the “party”, and with a national front that protest and recriminates on the streets, albeit still supportive for Duterte. But until when? What next when they demand 1) All “far-left” prisoners must be freed?; 2) No to disarmament for the NPA as they are in the service of the people? On the MNLF, the demands are fair: 1) Equal representation similar to MILF in the Bangsamoro Transition Commission; 2) Two Bangsamoro Federal States; 3) Recognition of (North Borneo) Sabah as per Supreme Court en banc decision. The MILF and its patron Malaysia will be immovable versus this rapprochement with the MNLF. Chair Nur Misuari recently accused Putra Jaya as behind Southern Mindanao kidnappings.

The real problem was never the issue of sincerity on the part of government. It was the clash of “end states”.

Government on the side of law and order, often bent backwards to accommodate legitimate demands. On the other side, “sincerity” is defined by a “coalition government” leading to the toppling of a “Mabinian” (elected) democracy for a totalitarian “people’s democracy”. In Southern Mindanao, the end-state is to buffer Sabah from a united Philippine Republic, or better, Philippine renunciation of the Sabah territory. The ultimate price for peace. (Erik Espina)