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PIA Press Release

Commentary: Peace to all

By Aurora Casimpan

Tacloban City (December 6) -- Peace seems to be a commodity tagged with a price. But before the price is set conditions have to be met. Apparently the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) feels that it is in a position of power hence the predisposition to set conditions before it will approach the negotiating table

The NDFP is probably banking in the idea that the government will capitulate to its wishes considering the decades long existence of the insurgency group. The government has expressed its desire to end the insurgency considering its negative albeit destructive effect on the semi ?economic situation in the country.

As a sign of its desire for peace, the government has extended to NDFP panel chair Luis Jalandoni a two week vacation in the country. Jalandoni and his wife Ma. Consuelo Ledesma, together with rebel negotiator and their staff, will be allowed safe passage in the country. The hold departure order against Jalandoni will also he lifted to give him freedom to negotiate in behalf of the Communist Party of the Philippines ? New Peoples Army such conditions were on top of the agreed ceasefire or cessation of hostilities for 19 days between the rebels and the government army.

So what's the price of the government's good will to the insurgents? One would think that the government offer would pave the way to the rebels to resume talks for peace come February in Oslo Norway. That NDFP's demand for the release of the Morong 43 to "improve the atmosphere for peace " smacks of dishonest intention to end the insurgency.

So what if the peace talks would not push through. The government would always be faulted for not giving in to such pre-conditions, Never mind if the court have jurisdiction over the case of Morong 43. The government if it wants to can always set them free.

If Jalandoni et al, really wants to talk peace it can meet the government without pre-conditions. But rebels only listen to themselves. Its more of a "them or us "principle. But hope is always something to cling on to. The rebels might just decide to resume the peace talks without pre-conditions once they feel the government's sincerity for good governance and social justice for the poor and downtrodden.

President Benigno C. Aquino III just like his mother has shown sincerity in implementing programs that would best serve the country and its people. The President has best intentions but politicians should not be allowed to meddle in the talks.

The government has experts in the peace process and such expertise should be allowed to work without the interference of the politicians who are often than not muddles the issue of peace. Peace as a commodity need not he expensive if only ideologies are not allowed to dictate peace itself. (PIA-8) [top]

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