Rough Cuts | Wanting in informed judgment?

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Roa Duterte now changes his mind. He is allowing the re-opening of the peace negotiations with the rebel National Democratic Front-Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (NDF-CPP-NPA).

On the other hand, the President’s daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in a statement late last week said she does not want the peace talks with the rebels to continue.

Looks like the father-daughter national and local government executives have divergent positions on the issue. A cursory analysis of the pronouncements of the two would seem to indicate that they do not agree of the administration’s direction insofar as breaking bread with the armed insurgents.

However, a deeper evaluation of the position of the President and his daughter would lead to the conclusion that basically, both are for the continuation of the negotiations.

The President somehow gives in to the prodding of several sectors that he pursues the peace talks. But in the process he sets conditions for the government panel to return to the negotiating table. And these conditions are: that the rebels stop all its belligerent attacks on the government’s security forces; that the rebels on the ground refrain from collecting revolutionary taxes which, according to the President, are actually plain and simple extortion activities to businesses operating in areas they claim to have influence over.

Meanwhile the daughter mayor is saying that it is useless for his father to continue the peace negotiations with the rebels because until now she “cannot find indications that the other party is sincere to work towards peace.”

She believes that even if the peace talks will be continued still the rebels, as what can be gauged in their actuations in the previous administrations’ efforts to conduct negotiations with them, they will still continue with their atrocities against government forces and civilians.

In other words, if the rebels will heed the President’s call for a stoppage in their terroristic attacks against government troopers, their forced collection of revolutionary taxes cum extortion, stop their destruction of properties, recruitment of minors and lumads into their armed units the lady mayor too, will be willing to give the new rounds of peace negotiations a chance.

The question now is whether the rebels, their top leadership and those who are running the armed units in the ground, will heed such call.

Indeed it would seem that the key to the success of any renewed rounds of peace talks is only the sincerity of the rebels. But we also believe that the government has also to show its own full sincerity if it is to forge a lasting peace under the present administration.

Perhaps there may be some counter-demands of the insurgents that can be worked out by the government and grant them.

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Where should one’s right to do things start as well as when and where should this end?

We are raising this question because of the apparent hypocrisy of some groups of people mostly those in the cyber world who are clearly affiliated or supporters of human rights advocate groups, or those who are simply against the person running the present dispensation.

Yes, suddenly multi-awarded film director Brillante Mendoza has been the subject of cyber bashing by netizens and people claiming to be advocating for human rights. This after Mendoza released the 12-episode Filipino series, a drama on the life of a high school student entangled in the deadly underworld of drugs and corruption that is streamed on Netflix.

The netizens and so-called human rights protectors believe that the series is a propaganda that justifies the alleged bloody war of the Duterte administration against illegal drugs. These netizens wanted the series pulled out from the streaming giant.

Again what hypocrisy can this demand for the pulling of the plug of the Mendoza work from Netflix be?

Just because these people think they belong to the select groups of human rights protectors, advocates of freedom of expression they now believe they have the license to deprive other people of their own freedom to express their ideas; freedom to make choices in life such as believing that a strong handed campaign against illegal drugs is already a necessary evil in the country?

If the filmmaker subscribes to the campaign of the present administration should those who are against it deny him the right to express his thought on the issue in the medium he thinks he could best help?

Really, sometimes we are tempted to believe that many of these people could be wanting in informed judgment.

Posted in Opinion