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Peace talks with no peace

by Erik Espina

“When the obstacle is removed and our political aim attained, the war will stop. Nevertheless if the obstacle is not completely swept away, the war will have to continue until the aim is fully accomplished.” Mao Zedong on “Protracted War.” The template remains extant to this day as back-bone of the longest communist insurgency in the world. Ideologues in hardened state and advanced ages remain sclerotic in revising the concept of their struggle – bloody revolution.

It would be a truism, after decades of peace negotiations, every sound approach, formula, concession etc. short of a “coalition government,” has been explored/granted by previous presidents to accommodate the CPP-NPA-NDF in achieving a permanent peace. Due to their consistent predatory cunning, ideology is centrally applied to every ebb and flow of attendant political realities. Their strategy unchanged, “Talk-talk, war-war.” Next to a National Democratic Front, endemic of communist struggles, they metamorphosed in Congress, increasing political, economic, and social influence, plus funding. Reality must be commensurate to response. Meaning – strict enforcement of the law and respect for the Constitution! A distillation of Presidents Ramon Magsaysay, Ferdinand Marcos, and Erap Estrada on resoluteness, will irreversibly put the problem in proper perspective. A point of clarity when political-will crosses the “Rubicon.”

We cannot reform the local communist movement as in European models. This is illusory. President Rodrigo Duterte has granted them the widest democratic latitude (appointments) vis-a-vis other presidents. His proclamation of the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization defines the parameters of how peace must be waged. There is no painless solution. While identifying a “chief terrorist” is required to expedite international action. We must employ libertarian values, mustering all State forces to defend and protect the Republic. Terminating the peace talks at the national level is a sober appraisal. While a new anti-terrorism/extremism law (mere membership) is warranted in this day and age.

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