GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 3 Jan) – Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda was again at his element when he immediately castigated the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its political umbrella, the National Democratic Front (NDF), for terminating a ceasefire that was supposed to end on January 15 yet.
Lacierda can only be lying to his teeth or unforgivably ignorant in conveniently blaming the CPP for yet another episode of government looking to paint the communist as powder-brained lot (utak pulbura) and thus not worth talking peace with.
Or Lacierda is on the hawk’s side that he cannot bear to sit in the same table with people who have been risking their lives for a cause he does not agree with.
“That is expected from somebody who cannot blame themselves, and they know that a ceasefire of that (duration) would be detrimental to them so they decided to cut it short and blame government,” he said Tuesday morning while the Presidential Palace was in receipt of a letter from the Department of National Defense recommending the extension of the government-declared ceasefire to January 15, a date both agreed by the negotiating panels of Philippine government and the NDF on December 18 in The Netherlands.
Or maybe Lacierda is merely trying to smokescreen the government’s failure to issue a reciprocal ceasefire declaration that belatedly came after the CPP and its military wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), have already terminated its unilateral declaration.
Or maybe Lacierda, in spewing that statement, was in fact referring to the Philippine government which he has served, sometimes over zealously.
Getting any organized armed group fighting the government to stop firing their guns and reciprocating it with a truce declaration, however limited, is but one of confidence-building measures that could fast-track the peace process.
Had the government and the MILF failed to agree to a ceasefire, they would not have come up with a piece of document, the Fundamental Agreement on Bangsamoro, and hundreds more would have been killed in the war front.
That the Philippine negotiating panel was able to get the CPP-NPA-NDF to resume negotiations without reference to the release of its detained consultants was already a big step forward in the continuing quest for lasting peace.
It took an announcement of the termination of ceasefire declaration from the CPP, under pain of being pictured as jingoists, to make the government realize that it has in its midst plenty of warmongers.
If only the likes of Lacierda knows how to keep his mouth shut when he should, this country could be a better place to live in.
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Edwin Espejo writes for the asiancorrespondent.com.)