Quo Vadis, Mr. Joma?


Again, History has repeated itself. After months of heated exchanges, these two aging remnants of the sixties are, again, toying the possibility of a truce. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte once more instructed his bunkmate, the globe trotter Silvestre Bello III to reach out to his former professor, Jose Maria Sison, to talk for peace. Duterte made this shortly after a meeting with another remnant of the turbulent past, Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari, whose frequent visits to the Palace led to a hammered deal which Malacanan had not divulged as yet.

In response, Sison says the possibility of the re-opening of formal peace talks is about 90%, with a critical 10% still unresolved. The leader of Asia’s longest running insurgency failed to say what this 10% is, enough to tell us that this 10% is bigger than the 90%

I am curious— this pronouncement came shortly after the arrest of several high-ranking CPP-NPA leaders and the death of some, which the Armed Forces of the Philippines was quick to say were successes or field victories. If this were true, that the Communist movement is on the verge of certain death, then, why talk peace with Joma? Why not satiate the hunger of Duterte’s hawks and use the vast resources of government and wage a war–the very same folly that former president Joseph Estrada once did.

And if, indeed, the Communist movement is also winning, why the readiness of Joma to talk for peace? True revolutionaries recognize an opportunity when it presents itself.

Why talk peace when Mr. Duterte’s administration is at a period of exiting from the political scene very soon. Next year, Duterte will just be a sitting duck, waiting for the most opportune time to strike deals with possible successors. Right now, yes, he is oppressing the oligarchs, giving them sleepless nights but these are all pretensions, with the hopes of gaining economic concessions in the end.

Second, why talk with an administration that has demonstrated its lust to kill and annihilate not just the leaders, but even lowly cadres of the Party? Third, why talk when history has shown how this administration has broken its promises  every single time, and has shown its unwillingness to sign major peace agreements? Fourth, why talk when legislative allies of this administration are using legal ways on how to prolong the Duterte “happy days.” Fifth, why regain these talks when this administration continuously harm the interests of the Filipino people?

There is such a thing as a clear demarkation line between those who are sincere and those who are sheer bastards. Of course, no debate as to the efficacy of talk rather than war, but the fact remains that there are certain times when the best and greatest good for the people is to be considered rather than the interests of leaders of the People’s Party.

The more the Party opens itself with these senseless and useless exercises, the more exposed it becomes for predation by its enemies.

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