December 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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A waste of lives

PRECIOUS Filipino lives are being lost every day in the fight for ideologies and political systems, and while some hope for a definitive resolution was afforded by the peace talks in Norway, this was scuttled by President Duterte’s Executive Order 360 closing the negotiations officially.

As a post mortem, political analysts from all sides are weighing in on the issue of peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) which represents the Communist Party and its New People’s Army (NPA).

A UP professor said Duterte has given the peace process a chance, implementing several confidence-building measures such as the release from detention of CPP leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamson and appointing to his Cabinet several personalities identified with the Left.

Another think-tank analyst pointed out that this and other moves of the President have given strategic advantages to the communists, including the chance to consolidate their forces nationwide.

Critics blamed the President’s “incoherent policy” on the communist insurgency as behind the debacle.

NDF consultant and former journalist Satur Ocampo said in a TV interview yesterday that Duterte had time-lapse problems in issuing off-the-cuff pronouncements vis-a-vis actual or written policy directions to the military. In one instance, the President was supporting the schedule of peace negotiations and at the same time issuing public statements to the military to engage the NPA in an all-out war, including even Air Force bombing operations in known rebel lairs.

What all these amount to is the continued loss of lives of Filipinos, both in the government side and in the rebel camp.

We can believe the observation that the President’s policy direction was neither here nor there or, as the observer noted, “incoherent” as we move to another contentious issue -- who will take the lead in Duterte’s war against illegal drugs, the Philippine National Police or the PDEA?

First, it was the PNP, then the PDEA, then Duterte again voiced his dissatisfaction on the current results of the anti-drugs campaign and said he will remobilize the police to take the lead role.

The funny thing here is that the presidential spokesman, Harry Roque, admitted in media that when he saw Duterte on TV the President was emphatic in giving the PNP the lead role in the campaign, but when they were together, it seemed the President was undecided yet.

A presidential spokesman should speak for the President at all times, and somewhat loses his own personality in the matter of speech, but this admission somehow shows that your slip in showing, Mr. Secretary.

In fine, the nation’s governance is on normal mode, with the President still ambivalent in his usual equivocation.
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