Editorial: Resume peace talks


The year 2017 ends today on a roller coaster of seemingly karmic events. The Davao mall inferno and a major vehicular accident in La Union with huge casualties followed the disastrous typhoons Urduja and Vinta with epic effects respectively in Biliran and in Lanao. The human life disastrous war on drugs has further divided the nation. And instability within government is marked by endless corruption charges now even involving the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

On current and long term national politics that matter much to the people, the significantly advancing GRP-NDFP Peace talks was unilaterally terminated by President Duterte. All out war is now poised against the NPA and revolutionary forces waging the on going civil war, started by Andres Bonifacio, to continue the unfinished national democratic revolution. EJKs and trumped up charges on activists are more frequent, with threats against organizations and personalities of even the legal nationalist democratic movement.

Yet President Duterte according to surveys, has relatively high public satisfaction rating. He has majority support in Congress shown in the vote to extend Martial Law in Mindanao. But in our history, Estrada was also popular, yet he was ousted and did not even finish his term. President Duterte’s eventual fate and legacy in Philippine history is entirely in his own hands. We have seen his two opposing sides during his first two years as president.

On his first year was Duterte as a generally pro people progressive leader who pushed for democratic rights versus the elite oligarchic ruling class and U.S. dominance, and who actively pushed for Peace Talks. And on his second year was Duterte as pro ruling class and a “friend of Trump” with blatant U.S. interference in Philippine affairs, the termination of Peace Talks, and a declaration of all out war against armed rebels; as well as threats against the open legal democratic people’s movement.

With the New Year, it is an expectation that President Duterte shall again see the light and what truly benefits the Filipino people and the Republic which he vows to protect. It should be an option to revert to his first year stance of being progressively pro people, taking the side of the democratic classes instead of the elite oligarchy ruling classes.

With magnanimity, it should be possible to make amends and do what is right by the Filipino people. This by advancing democratic rights and social justice, as well as pursuing Peace Talks as a real option, instead of only the battlefield, for just and lasting peace. But to effectively lead the nation in such complicated and all encompassing endeavor as Peace Talks to address a continuing national democratic revolution certainly demands much from leaders.

It requires statesmanship – of leadership in comprehensive national political – economic- socio cultural matters for the national democratic (not only elite) interest. We look for this rare quality not only in the President but also among other government leaders, as well as those of the NDFP who supposedly embody these qualities thus people support them in spite of the travails of waging revolution.

As we enter the new year of 2018, among our national resolutions should be to address the root causes of the continuing civil war, to end the armed conflict and achieve genuine national reconciliation. Thus the peace process should continue and Peace Talks be resumed to address historic injustices. The GRP-NDFP Peace Talks process is a real option with an accumulation of concrete achievements and gains. With advances towards genuine sovereignty, democracy and social justice; genuine national reconciliation would then be realized.

Human and financial resources would not be used for war, but for the day to day people’s welfare and national progress. Only then will the Philippines be able to capably deal with recurring natural disasters that come our way as a consequence of our natural geographical location and due to climate change, as well as society infirmities like big fires and vehicular accidents, etc. and over all quality improvement in managing our communities.

Starting with the New Year, Statesmanship is specially demanded of those in the leadership to rise and deliver for the people’s welfare and interests of the majority of Filipinos. # nordis.net


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