LET’S talk about the weather that’s been unpredictable this week. But then it has become a pattern. Like how we get two weathers on the same day, the scorching hot summer in daytime and then we get a downpour early evening or late afternoon. The weather’s been like that since Monday.
Climate change is here. Some rainy nights will find a strong gush of wind blowing off branches, wooden street signs and tarpaulins off to the road. Drivers beware. Some nights the roads get flooded. Pity the public in this situation, as public transport is hard to come by. Pity that the public don’t have good sidewalks to walk on as the stream of rain gurgles out of the sidewalk canals, and people have to avoid them as well as the stream of cars. How is the city addressing the problems of commuters and lack of sidewalks and waiting sheds?
Let’s talk too of this political storm, which is in synchronicity with this week’s weather. The President who once pulled out from the peace talks and puffed and huffed about calling the Reds as terrorists and warns to finish them in the countrysides by 2019, now has changed his stand.
He is offering again “one last chance” for peace.
His last chance comes with the four conditions: “I will talk to you. No coalition government. Second, no collection of taxes. Third, that you confine yourself in camps. Do not go around because there’d always be the possibility of misencounter.” It seems like the same conditions the President raised last year prior to pulling out from the talks.
To top this, he also offered the talks to be held here. No fancy hotels. Siya na bahala.
The President also took a jab on the Reds. “Eh mag rebelde naman kayo wala naman pera (You wage a rebellion but you don’t have money).” Which kind of muddles the view on why there is armed conflict, is it to ask money? Or fight against injustice? It also muddles the once astute image of the President, who once said poverty and political abuses has triggered the Marxist revolution.
On the other side, Prof. Joma Sison said the only condition the Reds want is to respect the process, respect the signed agreements of both sides, and settle down to talk of the President’s conditions.
For Sison, it is better to talk, especially the “substantive issues” which is the socio-economic reforms”, which he said is the heart and soul of the talks, and might as well, the issue of our country.
“The negotiating panel should have all the leeway to express differing positions or even conflicting positions and make complaints, and it is up to the two sides to arrive at a solution to any kind of problem, and resolve it,” he said.
The weather is still changing, we hope everyone from the panel to the peace advocates can steer us through this moment.