Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer of four departments of the national government – DOLE, DAR, DENR and DSWD – to the Communist Party of the Philippines was hailed by some political analysts as a wise move that would lead to the permanent solution to the 40 years old communist insurgency. But while exiled CPP Chairman JomaSison appreciated the offer, he said no one from the active NPA personalities will take the post since they would like to see first peace talks to be resumed.
Joma’s reaction though could just be a ploy to downplay a victory achieved without winning a shooting war. Duterte’s Presidency could be the unexpected Trojan Horse that was not part of a long term plan. It just came as a surprise that is going to pay handsomely in attaining strategic victory prematurely. But is it?
For sure the CPP front organizations that have been shouting “genuine land reform” and “down with summary and extrajudicial killings and disappearances” during their rallies on the streets are happy with the Duterte peace offering if only to end the local communist insurgency that has claimed as many civilian lives as there were soldiers, police and NPA lives lost in the more than four (4) decades of armed struggle.
Unless the masses have just been duped into believing that communist rule would bring them real liberation especially from poverty and all sorts of deprivation, now is the time for them to implement those things that they have been fighting for.
But, and unless this is not a co-sharing government that Duterte is extending to them, their belief in arms struggle as a means to achieve their goals and objectives should be cast away and lockedinside a vault never to be opened again. There is no way that they become part of this government and continue to espouse arms struggle.
On the other hand there is a new twist that would point to the ingenuity of Duterte – his choice of Lt. Gen. Ricardo “Bong” Visaya as the Chief of Staff of the AFP. Like him, Gen. Visaya has been accused by Karapatan, a human rights group, and even by the Human Rights International of complicity in many reported human rights violations. In fact Gen. Viaya was linked by the group to Gen. JovitoPalparan, nicknamed “The Butcher,” who is facing criminal charges for human rights violations.
Gen. Visaya says, though, that these are rehashed charges that have never been proven. In fact he has never been charged in court by anyone. He said since he was a Lt. Colonel and promoted to Colonel, Brig. General, Maj. General, and Lt. General nobody has filed a protest against his promotion. He is now Commanding General of the Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM).
From my friends in the military, Gen. Visaya is a highly respected officer and one highly deserving of the post. For one, Lt. Gen. Arthur I. Tbaquero, Ret. who was once a brigade commander assigned in Bohol, said “magalingtalagayansi Bong kaya langhanggang Decembernalangsya (meaning Gen. Visaya is retiring in December this year). But that should be enough to leave his mark and help Pres. Duterte clean this country of criminals, especially illegal drug lords as he lromised during the campaign period. He will retire in exactly six (6) months of the Duterte Presidency. He could makethe AFP as the best partner of incoming PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa who will actually be in the frontline of the campaign.
Duterteis testing, if not experimenting, a new theory in politics and public administration by putting in one pen the wolves, the sheep and the guard dogs in one pen. Will it work? Let’s find out in or after six (6) years. Meantime it will be good for the country if all the people give their support to the new President.
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