PRESIDENT Rody Duterte has acknowledged a “rocky road” to peace but still hopes communist rebels would continue the search for an end to a decades-old conflict.
“Along the way, it’s always a rocky road. There is no negotiation that comes easy to us given the turmoil of our country,” he said.
It was good he was not into the blame game, otherwise, he’d have blamed the previous administrations for not clearing the road.
President Rody declared a unilateral ceasefire against the communist rebels during his State of the Nation Address on July 25, hoping the insurgents would reciprocate.
But two days later, the New People’s Army attacked government troops in Kapalong, Davao del Norte. He gave the communist insurgents a 24-hour ultimatum to also declare a ceasefire, but lifted his unilateral ceasefire after the the ultimatum lapsed Saturday.
As some senators said, President Rody wouldn’t have to lift the ceasefire if he didn’t declare one.
Duterte said the cost of fighting with each other and knowing that bullets from the government would kill fellow Filipinos is a “despicable thought.”
“My desire is just to see my nation at peace and for everybody in this generation before I make my exit,” he said.
Isn’t it a more despicable thought knowing you’d get ambushed and shot after offering the hand of peace?
Jose Maria Sison, 77, who founded the Communist Party of the Philippines in 1968, castigated Duterte, his former student, for being “volatile” and a “butangero.”
Duterte said he could not be “foul-mouthed” because he was talking for the Republic of the Philippines, elected by more than 16 million votes. He also wondered why he was being made out to be the bad guy when it was the government who lost a soldier in an NPA attack.
This is a war, President Rody, fought not only with arms, but also with words.