The Arroyo regime's
demand that the CPP-NPA lay down its arms as a precondition for the
resumption of negotiations is meant to scuttle the peace talks. At this
stage of the negotiations, no self-respecting revolutionary group will
accept such a demand for it is tantamount to capitulation.
The record of successful conflict resolution around the world shows that
cessation of hostilities is the consequence not the precondition for
peace negotiations. The demobilization and disarming of insurgents
occurs after political settlement has been reached and comprehensive
reforms are to be implemented.
Thus to demand the laying down of arms now is to lay a roadblock to the
path of negotiated political settlement and lay the ground for the
intensification of all-out war. President Macapagal-Arroyo and Defense
Secretary Reyes are paving the road to perdition not the path to peace.
They project themselves as trying hard copycats of the bellicose bunch
of Bush and Cheney.
They are not only putting forth an impossible demand to derail the
resumption of peace talks but
also waging a propaganda
battle to condition the people's minds for all-out war. President
Macapagal-Arroyo's allegation that 95% of the people desire war rather
than peace is an out and out lie for the all-out war. It a bedtime story
from a president with a penchant for making love while waging war.
While the obstacle to the resumption of peace talks is the Arroyo
regime's demand for the laying down of arms, the impediment to the
progress of negotiations is likewise the CPP-NPA's framework of using it
only to score propaganda points. The protracted peace talks have moved
at a snail's pace, if at all, because the GRP and the NDF panels are
Neither is truly committed to a framework of negotiated political
settlement to the armed rebellion by instituting comprehensive reforms.
For the CPP-NPA, such a framework is contradictory to its dogma of the
protracted war as the strategy of revolution. For the Arroyo regime,
only the framework of surrender is compatible with its agenda of
consolidating not reforming the rotten system. ###