In a last-ditch effort, seemingly out of desperation as it’s just two years in power, to end the longest running insurgency in Asia the Duterte administration has offered to resume peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDFP. While it is without question that peace talks are the best way to end the fighting, the offer reeks of insincerity. Given what the government has done since the last rounds of the peace talks were terminated November last year, the communist rebels are right to reject the condition that it be done here in the Philippines.
Why is this offer of resuming the peace talks suspicious:
- EO No 70 is still in effect this needs to be withdrawn first.
- The red-tagging campaign against legitimate dissent, critics, activists and progressive peoples’ organizations is still ongoing.
- Consultants of the NDFP that have been arrested on trumped up charges and despite the JASIG are still in jail.
- The administration has firm control of the courts – there’s no shortage of judges willing to issue warrants of search and arrest on very questionable reasoning at the request of the police and military.
On these critical observations the writings on the wall are clear: the spider has invited the fly to his parlor. Until the government drops the pre-conditions to holding peace talks, the rebels will not come to the negotiating table. So the fighting will continue, not solely because the peace talks will not resume, but as long as the current conditions that have bred the rebellion continue to exist.