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Why resume the peace talks with the reds?

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B Jimenez (The Freeman) - December 21, 2019 - 12:00am

Experience should have taught us by now that we can never talk peace with the communists. But here we are again. DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III is spending Christmas in the Netherlands, by order of the president, to resume the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines, care of the steak-eating so-called rebel leader Joma Sison, president Rody Duterte's former professor, and Joma's consigliere and spiritual adviser-cum-political officer, Fr. Luis Jalandoni.

The question being asked by the armed forces and the police personnel is “why?” The foot soldiers of Joma Sison continue to ambush our soldiers. Many of our men on the ground have been murdered. They continue to burn equipment and facilities of private companies in the hinterlands in Mindanao. Are the rebel forces winning, that is why the government is now waving the white flag and asking for a truce and a negotiation? Are we admitting that we are on the defensive that we should be the one talking peace? We are not making a judgment, we are asking relevant questions. Our forces on the ground have suffered a lot in the hands of the rebels. Now we are going to talk peace with them. Are we losing the battle or the war?

The president had, a number of times, already tried befriending them. Members of the left were appointed to the Cabinet, like the former secretaries of the agrarian reform and social services and the undersecretary of DOLE. The government has offered many concessions to the left. Instead of reciprocating, their armed elements continue to murder our police and army officials and uniformed personnel. They kill civilians suspected of being friendly to the military. They continue to impose and exact revolutionary taxes and demand payment for permit to campaign and permit to win in some local elections in certain remote towns and villages.

The reds are committed to the ideology of socialism, they will never give up their armed struggle because they believe that power only emanates from the barrel of a gun, coming from the anger of the oppressed peasants and urban working class. The reds are convinced that negotiations can never provide a true and lasting solution to the problems of the proletariat. This is because they are convinced that the capitalists will never, ever give up their control over the sources of production, except after a bloody revolution. Thus, any negotiation will only give the reds more time to organize the peasants. They will ultimately surround the cities with armed partisans from the countryside.

Thus, it is both a strategic and tactical error on the part of the government to agree to talk again. The previous talks were very expensive and time-consuming. It distracted Secretary Bello from his main job as Secretary of DOLE. All the prior negotiations achieved nothing useful for the government. Only the reds gained more time. They also gain the status of a belligerent and therefore could receive millions of dollars of aid emanating from socialist countries. Joma and Jalandoni are enjoying Europe in their expensive suits and cozy hotels, eating steaks and drinking champagne, while their comrades suffer of malaria in jungles, ill-fed and demoralized.

We should never allow the sovereignty of our state to be subject to negotiation in a location outside our own territory. That is too much concession, and we have nothing to gain, but everything to lose. That is a Christmas gift the reds do not deserve. josephusbjimenez@gmail.com

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