September 29, 2016


By Arturo P. Garciasub-27colombia-1-master768

It’s a good way to celebrate the coming Christmas season with a season of peace agreements.peace negotiations and ceasefires in different areas of the world. In South America, its in Colombia, in the Middle East in Syria and in Asia-the Philippines.

In Colombia, the peace agreement between the Frente Armadas Revolucionario de Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government has been concluded in Havana, Cuba had been signed in Cartagena, Colombia last September 26, 2016

The peace agreement ended the 52 year old armed struggle in Colombia that started during the civil war between the conservative and the liberal parties in Colombia called the “La Violencia” in the 1940’s up to 2016.

After 130 days, the FARC will be demobilized, its arms will be at the safekeeping of the United Nations and a nationwide referendum will ratify the peace agreement.

In Syria, the ceasefire was a result of the peace talks between the United States and Russia in Geneva, Switzerland. The ceasefire is for humanitarian reason, to allow the entry of humanitarian aid to refugees that number in millions in the conflict area and as a breather for both side from the killings, bombings and military offensives.ISIS-Controlled-Areas

The ceasefire will only last 48 hours and is renegotiated every after 48 hours of monitoring. But people appreciate it because it gives them moments of peace.

For a while the ISIS and the other groups have used the ceasefire to their advantage. But lately, after the Russians and the Syrian resumed the airstrikes, the Syrian forces have gained ground in Allepo and other rebel held areas.

In the Philippines, as a result of preliminary peace negotiations in Oslo, Norway, the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) gave way for the declaration of unilateral ceasefire for an indefinite period on both sides.

The first time in more than 30 years, a unilateral ceasefire agreed upon by both side sans a formal agreement and with details still to be hammered out, is in effect. And both sides have benefits and disadvantages enjoyed.14054299_10209124495803178_1134729115577460992_o

The last bilateral ceasefire between the NDFP and the Philippine government was from November 27 1986 to January 22, 1987. The ceasefire ended when the military massacre 13 farmer-protestors in Mendiola,Manila during a rally on January 22, 1987. It was called the 2nd Mendiola Massacre of 1987 during the Cory Aquino administration after the 1st EDSA Revolution.

A big advantage for the Duterte regime is that the ceasefire freed scores of battalion of the AFP from the NPA areas to de deployed at the ASG infested areas in the Sulu archipelago, Basilan and Tawi-tawi to focus on the ISIS influenced areas.

For the NDF, it was a confidence building measures after Duterte withdraw his unilateral ceasefire order after his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July and ordered the AFP to pursue the NPA forces.

There was a spat between Duterte and Joema Sison and after the tirades from both sides, all ended well with the peace talks in Norway.It also gives time for both sides to consolidate their forces. It is the calm before the storm.

I believe that after Duterte has consolidated the AFP and his anti-drug war, he will unleash his armed forces against the NPA just like all the Philippine President did in the 70 years history of the Philippine Republic. Or make peace as he promised with the NDF, MILF and the MNLF.

As the saying goes, “in times of peace, prepare for war.”


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