AND an eye for an eye until the world will become toothless and blind, so says an old joke paraphrasing an Old Testament passage.
I’m quoting this to refer to the full scale war recently declared against each other by the Duterte administration and the CPP-NPA-NDF.
I am both awed and terribly worried about these declarations, especially that by Duterte.
My arguments are plain logical and humanistic.
One, declaring all-out war against the CPP-NPA-NDF would only prove useless.
Unlike, the other armed groups who only fight for their narrow and sectarian interests and who in fact have already surrendered to the government, the former is waging a war for no less than ending the control of foreign powers led by US in the affairs of the country, dismantling the ruling state ruled by big landed elites and neoliberal politicians, and the democratization of lands and other resources.
An armed force with this big agenda in their hearts and minds must have an iron will, brave heart and clear direction to fight this long, or 50 years and going, so they claim.
The fact that thy have weathered numerous tests of struggles, within and from the outside, are enough proof that they have mastered what it takes to fight and win.
Two, huge army and modern weapons are not the decisive elements in winning the war. It is whoever wins the hearts and minds of the majority of marginalized classes and sectors is assured of victory.
The CPP-NPA-NDF may still be far from mustering critical mass support both in rural and urban areas, but they obviously thrive and expand in as many provinces.
They easily turned the deep seated agrarian problems, deepening state corruption, the state especially LGUs’ lack of substantive basic services and institutionalization of participation governance, the brutalities of state’s anti-drug campaign, the massive attacks vs. the lefts and administration’s critics, the disruption of law and order, the bastardization of foreign policies - to their tactical and strategic advantage.
Malacañang, legislators and the military officials of this country know the realities brought by this equation.
Unless they overturn these, even in just instituting real good governance among LGUs, they will have harder time to win the people to their side.
The people need sincere intervention not psychological propaganda and token services.
Three, most Filipinos, poor and the rich, have had enough of pains suffered under brutal regimes in this country, that they will not buckle down in resisting any new attempts to recoup tyrannical and fascist rule.
Some may be fooled by the promises and media hype of a disciplined nation, better life and peace, but the majority though silent are already politically mature and just waiting for the right time to reject state foolishness and threats.
If the Duterte administration is sincerely committed to real social change and inclusive development, it should reconsider the beating of the war drums, and focus instead on building lasting peace based on the equation of social justice, national freedom and democracy.
I believe that Duterte has some sense of humanity left, and so some of his top officials. I believe too that the leadership of the CPP-NPA-NDF has enough of kind hearted and peace loving figures like Negrense Luis Jalandoni and Connie Ledesma who don’t want more warm bodies and blood to litter the rural fields, the urban streets and in even cozy places but forced by conditions to wage war.
To all, let’s give a just and lasting peace a good chance, not a tooth for a tooth play.