Daily Archives: August 1, 2016



August 01, 2016


( Editorial of Malaya, August 01, 2016)

joma-duterte-0510-1A TRUCE is an agreement between two opposing parties not to fight within a specified period of time.If only one party declares a ceasefire, then it is not yet a truce.

Strictly speaking, there was no truce even as President Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire effective July 25, during his State of the Nation Address (Sona). This ceasefire holds only for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, both of which he is the commander-in-chief.

Duterte waited for the CPP-NPA to reciprocate, to issue their own ceasefire policy. It was long in coming, considering that the communist rebels have a collective leadership, and leaders are spread throughout the regions and abroad, sometimes in mountains where no modern communication technology is available. And then, again, there’s the issue of political detainees and convicts in various prisons, and the vast preparations for the coming formal peace talks.

The Wednesday attack on the CAFGUs in Davao del Norte was bound to happen, as the 48-year-old hostilities did not stop abruptly on the say so of a presidential speech. In fact, if Duterte would just read the news, a much bigger firefight was under way in Lopez, Quezon the morning he was to deliver his speech.

duterte-joma-sisonBut the feisty Duterte had little patience. He gave the NPAs a Friday deadline to explain the violation of his ceasefire. Failing to receive any, he moved the deadline to Saturday. Joma Sison said the National Democratic Front (NDF) was about to issue a statement at 8 p.m. Saturday but the President had already withdrawn his ceasefire offer by then.Sison forthwith called Duterte a “butangero” or a thug, and that the President cannot dictate on the revolutionary forces in the Philippines. Duterte called the rebels insincere in their initial welcome to his offer for peace.

The whole episode is a sad one for the Filipino people.

The President’s overbearing stance is neither presidential nor eliciting respect. His testiness and habit of giving deadlines did not sit well with the rebels who resented being treated as his bureaucratic subordinates. Wanting peace – and peace served on a silver platter and at once – he only succeeded in stoking the fires of rebellion.

Sison himself displayed an anti-peace, if childish, behavior when he resorted to name-calling and personal attacks on the President. This is vintage Joma, for he had used colorful, gutter adjectives to describe Marcos, Enrile, Taruc, Lava and others who opposed him.

If Duterte and Sison are both sincere in this quest for peace, perhaps they should let the peace talks be handled by more discerning, level-headed negotiators, not themselves.