Peace in this Season

Dec 9-15, 2010

COMMENTARY

A few clashes between the military and communist rebels flared up in Compostela Valley before the declared national ceasefire. These preluded the start of the dawn masses starting on Thursday. It’s fortunate that Davao del Norte has not seen yet a latest insurgency-related violence spilling blood in its territory, and maybe because it has few mountainous terrains compared to Comval and so therefore rebels cannot hide and encamp so much from the groves of the forests and thick of the bushes. But for Comval, it’s public knowledge that violence of this type occasionally break up through the years knowing of the high military deployment in the province and the six or seven or so communist fronts operating in its territory.
However, it’s good that mutual sincerity and confidence from both the government and rebel representatives have been asserted before President Aquino’s decision to free the Morong 43, an issue identified as one of the preconditions in the peacetalks between the government and the CPP/NPA/NDF. The more the prospect for lasting peace will be boosted up when local rebels won’t attack government installations and troops during their December 26 anniversary of the establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines. We hope so.
The ceasefire that was so known by the local publics is still that one in the late 80s following People Power I and the assumption of President PNoy’s mother Corazon Aquino as the President of the Republic after the downfall of the dictator President Marcos. During that ceasefire, poblacion publics had seen faces of local communist rebels making speeches for peace. But that was 20 years ago, and now we are still bracing for the same insurgency that has already exacted millions of galloons of blood of brother Filipinos in its 4-decade record of surviving, in its war of the flea, from the onslaughts of the Philippine military, its auxiliaries, CAFGUs, including the police.
Why hasn’t the communist insurgency vanished at all? Why are NPA rebels continue to operate and survive in Comval and Davao del Norte hinterlands? The military now is engaging in peace and development approach in exterminating this longest-running insurgency, and maybe all the vestiges of mass-based support would be finally be annihilated by government forces since these are the very foundations and reasons in the continuing survival of the insurgents. But again recovering mass bases is one herculean task since as theorists say poverty in the final analysis is the root cause of the insurgency.
So talking for peace remains to be the shortcut route in stopping battles and wars. We hope that under the presidency of President Benigno Aquino III the longstanding issue of peace in the country will be finally resolved by peacetalks. These should include other rebellions like the one waged by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. But for the Abu Sayaff? There should never be peacetalks to terrorists, but force be met by superior force of the Establishment.
And now in this Christmas Season once again turning up like a yearly tradition we will breathe the air of temporary peace as war-weary rebels go home and join their relatives without being captured and same war-weary soldiers also go home and join their families in celebrating Christmas and New Year before- that war again.- CHA MONFORTE

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