Once more, the peace talks are over
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit Avila (The Freeman) - July 3, 2018 - 12:00am

After a long wait, finally the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) opened its Terminal 2 to full operations. Cebu’s major international airport terminal is operated by GMR-Megawide Inc. This is an international terminal so only international flights are accommodated in this terminal, which in the end relieves the crowd that we often see in the old MCIAA terminal on any given day. Passengers departing for abroad and those arriving were greeted by a live band and Sinulog dancers, something that they only saw during Sinulog grand parade before.

However, I did get a few complaints from friends, that there were only three immigration officers and some air-conditioning units didn’t work and certain restrooms didn’t have water. But call it a new beginning for the international terminal and I’m sure that GMR-Megawide will be fixing these problems very quickly. More important is the report we read that we could be seeing the arrival of more foreign airlines very soon, now that we have the capacity to accept them into this new Terminal 2. Kudos to GMR-Megawide for meeting their opening targets. Mind you, they are still finishing the rest of the international airport so we await them with open arms.

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It seems that the attempted revival of the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines has finally ended with peace being so elusive as ever. President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte said last Saturday said he is no longer inclined to resume peace talks with communist rebels whom he branded as “terrorists” and “criminals.” Duterte added that there is no point in talking with communist rebels if they think that he is a corrupt official. Frankly speaking, we thought that under the leadership of Duterte, we would finally achieve peace with the reds. Now this has become an impossible dream.

What happened to the peace talks? Why did they end so abruptly? Duterte said there is no point in talking with communist rebels if they think that he is a corrupt official. He added: “Kung corrupt ako, kung pasista ako, kung mamamatay-tao ako, kung DDS ako, why talk to me? Go find someone else.” Indeed, this is how the CPP thinks of our political leaders, so it seems that they have lost common ground.

Earlier, Left-leaning groups had welcomed Duterte’s election, in hopes of pursuing talks with the government and instituting social reforms anchored on their ideologies. But somehow, whatever common ground the CPP had with Duterte has slowly dissipated. Perhaps, the commies could not fathom the fact that Duterte is at the same time the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that has been the major enemy of the CPP-NPA-NDF. The AFP has always considered the CPP-NPA-NDF as their major enemy and you cannot simply undo all those incidents that have happened in the last 40 years of CPP insurgency.

With this report, Duterte added “that the communist rebels will no longer be recognized by the government as “legitimate rebels” and would now be considered “criminals.” Hmmm, this was always a major issue between the rebels and the Philippine government. So Duterte said, “I will be issuing a proclamation. I will be removing them from the category of a legal entity or at least a semi-movement which would merit our attention, placing them pareho sa Amerika —terrorist. I would consider them criminals already.” If you recall what the Lord said as written in the Bible: “Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.”

If there was any real chance for achieving peace with the communists, it was with Duterte. In fact as president, I was scared that he even put Left-leaning officials in his Cabinet, but in the end we just had to trust the president. One person I truly trust is peace adviser Jess Dureza who has been my close friend for a long time, and we have been Facebook friends for some time now. Dureza has been giving me first-hand information of the peace talks and I even interviewed him on my talkshow Straight from the Sky. But there is no point in continuing peace talks if the reds are not really serious in achieving peace for the country. So let’s leave it at this point.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

vsbobita@mozcom.com

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