Peace talks with communist rebels – combined with the development of areas cleared of the New People’s Army’s presence – will continue under a Lacson presidency.
This was made clear Monday by Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson as he said that at the end of the day, the rebels are also Filipinos.
“Unang una, tuloy-tuloy ang peace talks. Huwag natin kalimutan na kababayan natin yan (First, we will continue the peace talks. Let’s not forget that they are also Filipinos),” Lacson said on “Ikaw na Ba? The Presidential Interviews on DZBB.”
It is called resource denial operations and rightly so, in order to tighten the noose on the financial and logistical needs of the CPP-NPA.
That being said, the non-traditional left-hand/right-hand approach must still be applied by welcoming back to the fold their members, making sure that they will be treated justly and ensuring their personal safety – the same way the earlier surrenderees who appeared before our Senate red-tagging hearings a few weeks ago are being treated.
Having the momentum with the series of successful operations against the CPP-NPA who are now officially a “designated terrorist group” by virtue of the authority vested by the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 upon the Anti-Terrorism Council, I doubt if the security sector will recommend the resumption of centralized peace talks to the President, more so after they validated the information that after all, peace talks are just part and parcel of their long-drawn strategy to consolidate their forces and stop the momentum gained by the security forces.
In an interview on DWIZ Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– ‘early’ signing of the 2020 budget in January 2020
– reinstatement of cops acquitted in Maguindanao massacre case
– NPA hit list and anti-terror bill
– assessment of 2019 and expectations in 2020
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answers questions on: – Senate-HOR meeting to end the budget impasse
– complaint filed by former Ombudsman and SFA vs Chinese leader before ICC
– measures to prevent future water crises
– localized peace talks with CPP-NPA
Sen. Lacson chaired the Senate budget hearings for:
– Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
– Mindanao Development Authority
– Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
– Southern Philippines Development Authority
– National Commission on Muslim Filipinos
It only suggests that neither martial law nor the Bangsamoro Organic Law could guarantee peace in Mindanao. Instead, it is my view that the National Security Council and our ground security forces should take a hard look at their security plans and strategy, especially in the South, and try to avert the vicious cycle of talking peace with one tribal group while alienating the others.
Thus, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front came into being and developed themselves into the dominant armed force in Mindanao after we dealt peace with the Moro National Liberation Front. As it may be shaping now, as we make peace with the MILF, a breakaway group is sowing terror.
Having said that, I filed a Senate bill to enhance the Human Security Act of 2007, which has not been proving itself effective in addressing terrorism in our country.
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– COA report that Office of the President’s confidential/intel funds up 350% from 2016
– killing of Mayor Antonio Halili
– peace talks with CPP-NPA-NDF
– proposed amendments to the Constitution
In an interview on DZBB, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– dialogue between President Duterte and Catholic Church leaders
– continued support for President Duterte; adjustments his administration can make in the next 4 years
– more crime prevention, police visibility needed
– need to reassess the economy, including external factors
– consistency and having only one standard in fighting corruption
– continued jueteng operations
– localized peace talks with CPP-NPA-NDF
– fighting terrorist groups
– developments in the West Philippine Sea
To me, it makes a lot of sense. I have actually been asking myself for the longest time why we need a third country facilitator and venue to talk peace with our fellow Filipinos. For one, it entails more expenses, not to mention inconvenience.
Those who are in self-exile may only need a safe conduct passage from the government to move freely and safely during the whole duration of the peace talks. I don’t think their self-proclaimed “belligerency status” will suffer or get affected if we do not involve a third, neutral party or country.
Therefore, I fully support President Duterte in his assertion that we hold the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front and other rebel groups right here in our country.
The NSC meeting went very well. It had direction, it had substance, it had consensus and unity of purpose. As usual, as what is always expected of vintage Rody, we enjoyed the ad libs, not to mention the asides and not-so-subtle sniping at his favorite critic (you-know-who). The unprecedented presence of four former heads of state added to the luster of the occasion, but not without their own valuable input on what the country needs to do to advance our national interest in regard to the arbitral tribunal ruling on the West Philippine Sea issue, the peace talks and the fight against illegal drugs.