Pursue just and lasting peace

Pursue just and lasting peace

IT IS imperative amid local persisting armed insurgency and the warmongering of the United States (US) and its allies toward China.

I’m so glad that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the umbrella of various revolutionary organizations and the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army fighting to establish a socialist state, has agreed to pursue peace talks.

I must admit that the GRP and NDFP's sudden issuance of a joint statement to pursue peace talks surprised me.

I was expecting the contrary, the spiraling armed violence and extra-judicial killings under the Duterte regime to worsen under the Ferdinand “BBM” Marcos Jr. administration because of the perceived penchant for killings by his predecessor, and BBM’s late father’s administration no negotiation policy towards the revolutionary movement and its counterpart separatist Moro National Liberation Front.

But with changes in the power equation and situational context of the country, official thrust, policies, programs, and alignment change.

I don’t want to question the motives and sincerity of both GRP and NDFP. I give them a grain of salt so to speak. I believe they are both capable of engaging for peace outcomes that will push this country forward in peace, prosperity with dignity for everyone.

BBM may want to establish his track record and legacy, outside the shadow of his much-hated father.

His loyalists led by House Speaker Martin Romualdez backed by his ruling party with strong backing from the US community, want to exact revenge or want the new administration to be distanced from the perceived vigilante and pro-China regime of Duterte.

Thus, forging alignment with the Reds as the strongest, most credible, and staunch critic of Duterte would be more advantageous politically to the BBM administration.

It would likely shift the local and global opinion away from major economic and political shortcomings and misgivings of the BBM administration, towards the former Duterte regime, and veer away from US to the China.

It is no wonder why VP Sarah Duterte and pro-Duterte propagandists, officials, and institutions, are raising the red flag against BBM and the ruling team.

The Reds are not just great revolutionary warriors, but also staunch peacebuilders on the national level and in their controlled territories. They may have weaknesses and shortcomings too like the GRP.

Still, the fact that they persevere in peace talks, and encourage and support parliamentary struggles while waging revolutionary war in defense of the poor and exploited and in pursuit of their socialist goal, is a clear indication that they too aspire for lasting and just peace.

Whatever the countervailing factors, or converging forces, against the GRP and NDFP, I hope that both will dodge and ward off peace saboteurs and pursue and persevere in achieving positive results from the peace process.

I likewise call on all stakeholders to support the peace talks by all cost-effective means possible. I encourage all to organize comprehensive peace movements in various parts of our country to make the voice of peace heard.

There is no other way to just and lasting peace but peace itself.*


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