I AM awed by the tenacity of Secretary Jesus Dureza in pursuing peace with the CPP/NPA/NDF. He is admirably living up to his name. But what prize this noble deed? The NPAs withdrew from the ceasefire it declared.
Jorge Madlos, aka Ka Oris, spokesperson of the NPA, in announcing the withdrawal, virtually declared resumption of war in seething language and raging temper.
There were instances of breaches in the unilateral ceasefire ordered by the government and the NPAs but both are guilty of these violations. In similar situations, peace negotiations in community of nations are fraught with such breaks but in the end, stable peace is achieved. I want to believe that Madlos is merely raising a yellow flag in same manner that Secretary Dureza issued an alarm to the AFP.
From his retirement, Fr. Terry Barcelon counsels that while there are ruptures in the talks peace has to be pursued. No let up. Dureza was not expecting the declaration from the NPAs but as far as he is concerned the peace negotiations are on track.
Come to think of it, never in the annals of our search for peace was there so much effort and concessions done by the government than what the Duterte administration had granted. He had appointed leftists in his cabinet fulfilling his promise of a participatory governance. This to the point that the President was being pilloried by critical media for being lovey-dovey with the NPAs.
In all these, Secretary Dureza sought out the rebels bringing the message of peace and reconciliation of President Duterte. Every so often, he leaves behind an ailing wife who allows and even pushes her husband to go leave and accomplish your mission for peace on one hand and saving lives of kidnap victims of the ASG on the other.
Ordinary mortals would cave-in in frustration after this declaration made by the NPAs. But Dureza has a task to achieve and he is made of sterner stuff.
However, the recent development begs the questions now: (1) Are the NPAs acting on their own as such was Dureza talking all along with just the CPP and the NDF? The former a moribund party while the other a legal front that serve as the narrow conduit between government and the armed insurgents. (2) What happens now to those so called "political detainees" that had been released or about to be released? (3) Are all these simply a case of double talk? (4) Is Jose Ma. Sison still in control of the NPAs?
Few questions to ask for now. For now, however, the AFP must brace for assaults.
The weather in Oslo is getting colder it's about time the peace makers come home and wait till the snows melt and hopefully gets warmer for yet another round of talks. Patience is what makes peace negotiation progress to accomplishments of goals. Jesus Dureza has a wellspring of this virtue.