Ceasefire? No quarter!

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - December 9, 2020 - 12:00am

It is good that the government has this time rejected any holiday ceasefire with communist rebels. I just hope the rejection is born of the realization about just how stupid it had been to grant all those similar ceasefires in the past each time Christmas season swung around. All of those ceasefires sprang from deep-seated hypocrisies about government being Christian toward an enemy engaged in the business of killing, extortion and terrorism.

All of those ceasefires only served to delay the inevitable return to hostilities, giving rise to the question why have any ceasefires at all. Why give comfort to an enemy that has been trying to overthrow government and overturn our way of life for decades? If some Christian bleeding hearts in the government want to share Christmas joy with communist rebels, let them go bring gifts to the hills. But there must be no ceasefire.

Enough of being played by the rebels. All that the rebels want is a little downtime from the war they foisted upon themselves. If they miss their families, it is not hard to do what they need to do. One, come down, return to society, and resume a normal family life, after paying for your sins like everybody else, of course, or two, keep fighting but bring your family up the hills with you and there join your misguided proletariat struggle.

But there can be no two ways about this battle, of which ceasefires are an attempt to have one. You wage war, you pay for the wages of war. There can be no humanitarian sugarcoating for terrorism. Terrorism respects no one and nothing. Those who engage in it do not deserve the perks of being peace-loving, law-abiding and God-fearing.

In Suing for peace, no matter how brief or fleeting, the initiative cannot come from the one occupying the position of strength and advantage, which in this case belongs to government. A boxer on his feet cannot tell the referee to stop the count. It is the boxer on the floor who prays for strength in his knees and air in his lungs. In war or in the ring, there is only one winner, and that is the one with the most brains or inflicts the most harm.

The government loses nothing in rejecting a ceasefire. Our troops enjoy the luxury of numbers, logistics and circumstances to allow Christmas rotations that the rebels must not be allowed to have. Not only will the terrorists use a Christmas break to regroup, refurbish, rearm and refresh, they will also use it to attack if the opportunity arises. We have seen it always before, we will always see it again if we allow ourselves to be fooled once more.

President Duterte, who has seen it all in his beloved Davao, tried bending backward one more time at the beginning of his term, if only to show a willingness to win peace. He ordered a ceasefire, brought in communists or communist sympathizers into government and all but opened his bedroom to them. He paid dearly with the lives of his soldiers the terrorists gleefully killed in ceasefire-violating ambushes

So instead of a ceasefire, the government should give no quarter. The country has already paid dearly for the pandemic in term of lives, economic losses, overturned way of living and pretty much of the other usuals. We cannot keep paying more for the toll of a useless war that has gone on for far too long. We have to end this, if nit tomorrow, at least on the day we decide to stop being played and made a fool.

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