BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The National Democratic Front-Negros reiterated its rejection of the “localized peace talks” being pushed by the National Task Force – Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
It is a vain and desperate ploy to divide the revolutionary movement and mislead the people on the question of peace negotiations and the struggle for just and lasting peace, NDF-Negros spokesperson Ka Bayani Obrero said.
Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., however, said that Localized Peace Engagements (LPE), under the NTF-ELCAC have proven to be the most effective way of addressing the decades-long communist insurgency.
Galvez said the conduct of LPEs has enabled the government to decisively push forward the country’s peace and development agenda and achieve more concrete results as compared to national-level peace talks that were held before.
In a statement, Obrero claimed that “local peace talks” have nothing to do with genuine peace, that is peace based on social justice, stressing also that it only serve to deodorize the continuing, what he alleged as brutal counterrevolutionary war, and its attendant murderous campaigns.
He pointed out that it also seeks to destroy the revolution, by instigating capitulation as an appendage to armed counterrevolution. Hence, “localized peace talks” is packaged with a duplicitous amnesty program, Obrero also said.
He added that the revolutionary forces of Negros – from CPP’s regional committee to the branches, NPA’s regional operational command to front operational commands, and NDF’s allied organizations at all levels, firmly reject and oppose “localized peace talks” and will not engage, participate or even recognize such bogus peace undertaking.
If ever such talks are held in Negros, NTF-ELCAC will be talking with themselves or maybe with some former revolutionaries turned traitors and other elements with dubious character misrepresenting the revolutionary movement, Obrero further said.
Galvez, in a statement issued by OPAPRU, said “for more than 50 years and of all the mechanisms we have utilized to put an end to the communist rebellion, we saw that the LPE was indeed the most effective approach in addressing the root causes of the armed conflict.”
“Unlike the national peace talks which have been weaponized and exploited by the left, the LPE has no obscure agenda rather than achieving genuine peace. All agreements made by the CPP-NPA rejectionist factions under LPE adhere to the Philippine Constitution and democratic processes,” he added.
“We believe that it would be pointless and unproductive for us to engage the leadership of the communist group in peace talks. These people (CPP) are unrealistic and not grounded. While these personalities enjoy a comfortable and luxurious life in another land, the people who are allegedly fighting for their cause are fighting and dying in the fringes,” Galvez stressed.
“We simply cannot deal with this kind of leadership which does not have a clear sense of what is actually happening on the ground. The government will only be placing itself at the losing end,” he added.*