By Jun Ledesma
The oust-Duterte conspiracy hatched by the CPP/NPA/NDF and the clerico-political destabilising forces had been unearthed resulting in the immediate cancellation of peace negotiations in faraway Norway. Pres. Rodrigo Duterte consequently announced that any further peace talks should henceforth be done in the Philippines either in national or regional level.
The President has made his terms and conditions clear. He shot down the fantasy of Jose Ma. Sison for a coalition government, told him to stop collecting revolutionary tax and in the duration of the local peace initiatives the NPA combatants should be confined in designated places.
Joma of course has not ran out of his usual repartee. The former professor of Duterte is a master of double talk and the student very well know that and obviously does not give a dam anymore to the ideological razzmatazz of Joma. The President’s last and final offer to his debilitated teacher: “I will give you a round trip ticket and come home, I will guarantee your safety, I will have you treated of your ailment, let’s talk (peace) and if it fails I will personally escort you to the airport for your return flight back to Netherlands”.
Somewhere along the way, the scheme to oust Duterte was uncovered prompting Joma to issue a pre-emptive message that CPP/NPA/NDF (now referred to as CNN) had joined the Oust-Duterte plot. Joma even revealed the-time-bound caper to be in October after which he said they will then negotiate with the new leadership. In turn, President Duterte came out with a strong and rigid directive which practically cut off the communications line between Norway and Malacanang. The only thing salvaged from the Oslo talks might be the continuing role of Norway as the facilitator. Sison sought asylum in Utrecht, Netherlands in1987. The European Union and the United States had declared the CPP/NPA a terrorist organization. The Philippines seemly slowed down the court process to declare CPP/NPA terrorist obviously in deference to the ongoing peace talks in Norway.
The intransigence and smarting of Sison may result in a pincer move. The court proceedings can shift to a faster gear and a green signal declaring CPP/NPA a terrorist band may force Netherlands to extradite Joma and company back to the Philippines where they will be incarcerated and face trial. The other action will be revving up the campaign against the NPAs given the new assets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Besides, droves of NPA elements have given up on their utopian aspirations. Many have realized that the political and economic evolution in China and Russia had rendered Sison’s and CPP agenda utterly irrelevant.
The NPAs knew that President Duterte is capable of doing two things. Winning over four decades of conflicts with the insurgents through military action or reaching out to them with open arms and restore them to normal and productive life. The leadership of the CPP/NPA wasted that singular opportunity in participating in the government reform agenda in that Duterte demonstrated his sincerity of letting them by allocating them cabinet positions where they could contribute best. This time Duterte will be offering that guarantee of peace and a package of assistance direct to the revolutionaries.
Of course the search for peace will never be abandoned, instead there will be more demonstrative actions than words. The heavy burden will fall on the shoulders of Peace Adviser and Sec. Jesus Dureza and Labor Sec. and Chief Peace negotiator Bebot Bello. Needles to say, parallel to the military offensives are vast opportunities for those who will come back to the folds of the law. The regional peace talks are seen to be more responsive as proven by the national and local government actions of immediately providing the recent rebel returnees lands, financial assistance and housing units.
There are only two options left for the CPP/NPA/NDF: continue the armed struggles or by yielding for a new beginning end them.