The NDFP-GRP peace talks cannot be diminished into localized peace talks. The roots of the armed conflict are national issues. In fact, the very soul of the substantive agenda of the GRP-NDFP talks are the socio-economic reforms tackling genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization, which aim to end the country’s chronic economic crisis and backwardness.
The truth is the push for local peace talks by the government of GRP President Rodrigo Duterte and the AFP mean they intend to intensify their fascist attacks on the people not just through Oplan Kapayapaan, but also the National Internal Security Plan 2018 that aims to militarize and weaponize the civilian bureaucracy in support of “counterinsurgency.”
The military and civilian government down to the local level therefore have marching orders to join forces in the counterrevolutionary war, including through such calculated schemes like local peace talks.
The notion of local peace talks is thus narrow-mindedness pretending to be magnanimity, a divisive tactic contrary to nationwide peace and goodwill, a parochialism from the government of a former mayor expressing his pettiness, brutality and coarseness that shows he is shockingly unfit to be president. The Filipino people should hasten to downgrade Rodrigo Duterte in the same way they did to Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada.