Lacson: ‘Localized peace talks with Reds more practical’

Published July 11, 2018, 7:41 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Mario Casayuran

The proposed peace negotiations between the national government and communist leaders not in the international setting but at the local level is the way to go, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Wednesday.

Senator Ping Lacson, Chairman of the Committe on Games and Amusements listens as PCSO's Ms. Sandra Cam speaks during the 2nd joint public hearing of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Controversy at the Senate of the Philippines in Pasay City, Feb 12, 2018. MBPHOTO.CAMILLE ANTE

Lacson gave the thumbs up to this new kind of peace negotiations after stating that it is clear Jose Ma. Sison, one of the founders of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), has no control over the guerilla fighters of the CPP/New People’s Army (NPA).

President Duterte and Sison are locked in word war.

This was aggravated by an announcement from President Duterte that he was refusing to resume peace talks with communist leaders in Europe following threats from communist leaders that they would unseat him in October.

The central government and the communists have been at each other’s throat for the past five decades.

‘’Ang kailangan lang ay maliwanag na guidelines at parameters para sa pakikipagusap na gagawin ng bawat local napamahalaan, kasama na ang ibayong ayuda at supervision ng central government,’’ he said. (What is needed is for clear guidelines and parameters in peace talks at various localities, including support and supervision by the central government.)

Lacson, chairman of the Senate public order committee and former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, said localized peace initiatives with communist rebels are more practical, faster and cheaper.

Aside from Sison having no firm control over communist rebels, Lacson said each province and region has its own specific condition, and the deployment and strength of leftist rebels.

Lacson said leaders of local government units (LGUs) know the needs of the rebels in their localities when they decide to return to the fold of the law.

These local government leaders can also get the relatives or friends of these communist rebels to act as buffers between the government and armed leftist elements, he pointed out.