The Reds of the Philippines for four decades cashed in their bad luck in negotiating peace with the government. Now that the populist newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte is throwing in pronouncements – as if erasing obstacles of the failed peace talks in the past – the Reds are enthused by the prospect. Imagine, as Duterte said, he will free all the political prisoners! Huh? And on top of that, he will give them amnesty…Wow!
Just freeing the political prisoners was hard to come by from the past dispensations. And now that Duterte plans to grant amnesty to the rebels who committed atrocious human rights violation – like, summary killings of their own ranks because of purging, this can be seen, as maybe, luck smile in their favor, just because Duterte is a Socialist. And he was once a student of Joma Sison, an exiled peace negotiator based in Netherland.
Not only that. Duterte gets ready for the Reds four spots in his Cabinet; the Dept. of Agrarian Reform, (DAR) the Dept. of Labor and Employment (DOLE) the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
What more could the Reds ask for? The only thing now left for them is to pick and deploy from among their legitimate fronts who will head these social service departments: which, the likely choice could be the cloaked hard-core ideologues: Those who harbor the fervor of the obsolete Marxist-Leninist-Mao’s thought. This could fry the country in her own lard. These hard-core ideologues could make these social departments as indoctrination haven using the government’s resources to recruit, regroup, and consolidate their ranks to swell further the 3,200 NPA combatants, per Philippines Army estimate of 2014.
De La Salle University-College of Liberal Arts Dean Julio Teehankee said this on ABS-CBN News: “By putting these four social service-oriented portfolios in front and center, and offering them to people who actually rebelled against the state because of injustices committed against the farmers, the workers and the lack of social services, that is a stroke of genius, I think.”
These are just pronouncements, tentative at best coming from the perspective of the President Elect who has not been brief yet of the actual security situation of the country till he’s sworn into the office. This time around these pronouncements can’t be called as “stroke of genius,” but rather a hangover gimmickry of the vicious campaign mode.
As people have known that the President-elect Rodrigo Duterte flip-flopped many times of his declaration during the campaign, these could even more significant when he occupied the Malacanang Palace with the coterie of his advisers and staffs where they would get the bird’s eye view of the failure of the peace negotiations with the Reds. If after assessing the history of failure of the peace process, they still stick to the merit of their pronouncements, well and good.
However, they would have to convince the left, eliminating the sticky point that choked the peace negotiation process by laying down their arms and leave their ideologies on the dustbin of history. Then, it would be an out of the box solution.
And this time around, the Reds could cash out their victory chips.
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