Arroyo declares war

Inquirer and GMA News report that President Arroyo has given the Communist Party of the Philippines an ultimatum: Avail of amnesty or gear for war.

Arroyo made the ultimatum in a speech before an assembly on, ahem, peacemaking.

Or is it already a declaration of war, especially since National Democratic Front international representative Luis Jalandoni has already rejected the amnesty offer, dubbing it as a fake and another corrupt undertaking by the Arroyo administration.

The warmongering President is further emboldening the military to do anything. In the case of desaparecido Jonas Burgos, military chief Hermogenes Esperon continues to hide a report already ordered by the court to be furnished the Burgos family.

Arroyo is silent on the formal peace negotiations because her administration has effectively killed it by egging foreign government to mislabel as terror the CPP and the NPA and NDF chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison, by refusing the implement the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, and by other criminal acts such as extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

As early as 2005, the NDF has publicly offered a path to a quick but just peace. The NDF’s proposed Comprehensive Agreement on an Immediate and Just Peace is a ten-point agreement, a shortcut to the comprehensive four-step formal peace negotiations which have so far produced one major agreement (signaling the culmination of the first step).

The proposal will save the achievements of the talks between Manila and the NDF. But unfortunately, Arroyo is acting like a marionette of militarists. She obviously favors war, political killings, abductions and political repression.

Nobody dislikes peace. Everybody wants peace. But the drumbeating for war by Arroyo is such a warped view of the enormity of national problems that give rise to insurgent groups like the NDF, CPP and NPA. The talks aimed to address those problems that are bigger than Sison, Jalandoni and Satur Ocampo.

But by killing the peace talks, threatening to wage war and offering nothing else than “amnesty”, Arroyo makes it appear that the problems would disappear if all insurgents are jailed or killed in her expanded dirty war.

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