By Francis T. Wakefield
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday that localized peace talks will be vigorously pursued following Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison’s declaration that they will no longer seek peace negotiations with the government and instead cause the ouster of President Duterte.
In a statement, Lorenzana said Sison never ceases to amaze him especially on issues concerning the peace talks.
“He begs for peace talks and a ceasefire, and now he turns around to say that they will no longer negotiate with this government and threatens to destabilize the administration,” Lorenzana said. “Mr. Sison, in response to your childish tantrums, we will vigorously pursue the ongoing localized peace talks. I am sure that once you are out of the picture, true peace will have a chance to become a reality and you will be consigned to the dustbin of history,” he added.
Lorenzana said that the peace talks is the only thing that is keeping Sison in the limelight. “Without it, you are irrelevant. You also know that the President can terminate the talks, and this is why you are desperately using reverse psychology and intimidation to save it,” Lorenzana said.
The Defense chief said that for the past 49 years, the New People’s Army has conducted non-stop destabilization in order to weaken the government to enable their armed struggle to succeed and take over the government.
“Ngayon litaw na litaw na ang kanilang strategy: Talk peace and then press for a ceasefire so that they can regain lost grounds. ‘Yan ang ultimate objective ng peace talks sa CPP/NDF,” Lorenzana said. “The oust Duterte by the CPP-NDF was actually launched in May 2017. Ploy lang nila yung peace talks and ceasefire to allow their fighters to regain lost grounds,” he added.
Lorenzana said talking to the government is a way for the communists to pursue their armed struggle.
“During peace talks, peace is the furthest thing from their minds. They have already admitted that the peace talks are basically in support of their armed struggle. It was never their principal objective. Their term “just and lasting peace” is a situation when they have finally succeeded in their armed struggle, definitely not our idea of just and lasting peace,” Lorenzana said.